The Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) is the main funding appeal mechanism in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This annual consolidated document organizes priorities of life-saving activities to be presented to UN Member States and other partners for funding. From 2014, DRC has embraced the HAP's new approach, bringing together a stronger overview of needs which the response must be based, and a stronger strategic response plan defining the response itself. The DRC has been one of the first countries embracing and piloting this approach, taking up the challenge of making the whole process much more strategic, evidence and needs-based, and action oriented.
The DRC process continues not to have projects in it. This has the advantages of preventing a reverse of the normal sequence, with projects coming before response planning and before considering needs. Given the unpredictability of the situation in the country, the lack of projects is also necessary so that the response can be further detailed as necessary, without setting boundaries at the beginning of the cycle. The first DRC appeal was launched in 2000. Since then, millions of dollars have been disbursed to help millions of people in dire need of help.
Of the US$892 million requested for the DRC 2013 HAP, $751 million (84,8 per cent) has been funded. About half a million people have been displaced since the last escalation of fighting in Katanga province in September 2013. A new humanitarian crisis looms, adding to DRC's monumental humanitarian needs.
There are several funding mechanisms for the projects in line with the HAP objectives and priorities. Among those:
- The Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) is available to fund urgent humanitarian activities outlined in the HAP. In 2013, $81 million had been allocated to 111 projects in DRC.
- The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided funding to large emergencies in DRC since 2006 for projects in line with HAP objectives. In 2013, the CERF has given USD 12 million through two allocations, to seven projects in the DRC.
- The Emergency Response Fund (ERF) has been operational since 2004. In 2013, $314,958 thousands had been allocated to 2 projects in DRC. In December 2013, the ERF was formally closed and replace it by the 'Reserve' of the CHF.
- Bilateral donors provide the bulk of funding directly to UN agencies’ and NGOs’ projects.
OCHA management of these funds allows for a faster response to humanitarian needs. The HAP ensures coordination of humanitarian action in the country, while tracking funding facilitates transparency in how it is mobilized.