OCHA Trusts Funds, Special Accounts and Other Channelling Mechanisms
OCHA finances its activities through two main channels:
Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA
Established in 1974 pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 3243 Voluntary contributions to this trust fund enable OCHA to cover staff and non-staff costs at headquarters for core activities carried out in the discharge of the mandate entrusted to it by the General Assembly (where these costs are not funded by Regular Budget allocations).
This fund is subject to 3 per cent programme support costs on grants to NGOs and 13 per cent on core and other activities.
Sub-account for Strengthening the Integrated Regional
Established under the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA as the funding source for IRIN’s staff and non-staff requirements.
This sub-account is subject to 13 per cent programme support costs.
Trust Fund for Disaster Relief
Established in 1971 pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 2816
This fund receives earmarked and unearmarked contributions for disaster relief to finance coordination and relief activities and provide initial emergency grants after Regular Budget funds are exhausted. The fund enables OCHA to cover relief needs as an advance in cases where the response of the donor community is slow. Earmarked contributions are deposited into separate accounts for specific projects or countries affected by crisis.
The fund is subject to 3 per cent programme support costs on grants to NGOs and 13 per cent on activities carried out by OCHA.
A special sub-account known as the Field Coordination Reserve Fund was established in 1999 to enable donors to provide unearmarked funds for field coordination. This sub-account is used as a reserve fund to allow for the establishment of OCHA presences in new emergencies, the expansion of presences in changing situations, and support to severely underfunded crises. Following assessment of the programming and funding situation of its field offices, OCHA is able to allocate resources from this fund on a priority and emergency basis – allowing field operations to be managed with the required flexibility, and promoting equity between crises.
The Field Coordination Reserve Fund is subject to 13 per cent programme support costs.
Special Account for Programme Support
The funds in this account are derived from the programme support costs levied on activities financed through OCHA’s trust funds. This levy is 3 per cent on grants to NGOs and 13 per cent on all expenditures incurred by OCHA activities. The resulting income is used to fund administrative and common services provided by the United Nations in support of OCHA’s extrabudgetary activities.
Afghanistan Emergency Trust Fund
Established in June 1988 by the Secretary-General
The Afghanistan Emergency Trust Fund channels funds received from donors for humanitarian activities in Afghanistan. The fund currently supports the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan through two memoranda of understanding: the first provides grants to NGOs working to address rehabilitation needs, while the second is for humanitarian and economic development activities.
Programme support costs generated through this trust fund remain within the fund.
Tsunami Trust Fund
Established following the tsunami of 26 December 2004
This fund finances activities undertaken in the course of coordination of humanitarian action in relation to the earthquake and tsunami of December 2004, including the provision of relief to victims as well as longer-term infrastructure development. The fund is in its closing stages, with the minimal funds remaining used to support UNDP’s development activities. This fund is expected to be closed in 2008.
Programme support is levied at 3 per cent for grants to United Nations Agencies, international organizations and NGOs, with 13 per cent for coordination activities carried out by OCHA.
Central Emergency Response Fund
Established in 1991 pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 46/182 as a Revolving Fund; expanded in December 2005 to a Response Fund following a consensus decision
The Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF) operated for 14 years as a revolving cash-flow mechanism, ensuring the provision of adequate resources to United Nations humanitarian agencies in the initial phase of emergencies requiring a system-wide response. The loan facility of US$ 50 million primarily allows agencies to access funds quickly while awaiting receipt of contributions from pledges.
The fund was upgraded (and renamed as the Central Emergency Response Fund) in December 2005 to include a grant element that makes funds available to United Nations Agencies and the International Organization for Migration for early action and response – to reduce loss of life and enhance response to time-critical requirements and to strengthen core elements of humanitarian response in underfunded crises. The CERF is resourced through voluntary contributions, and its target is US$ 500 million, of which US$ 450 million is for grants.