Following a humanitarian crisis, humanitarian actors in the field can immediately provide life-saving assistance by using OCHA-managed pooled funds. There are three types of pooled funds: the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Common Humanitarian Funds (CHFs) and Emergency Response Funds (ERFs). These funds provide assistance for food, water and shelter immediately following a natural disaster; life-saving nutrition and medical care for babies born in refugee camps; and basic life necessities for people struggling to survive in many of the world's forgotten emergencies. ERF and CERF are operational in Pakistan.
Emergency Response Fund
The ERF is OCHA's mechanism to release rapid and flexible funds in response to an emergency. At the Advisory Board’s discretion, ERF funds can also be used in situations of underfunding of acute needs in priority sectors.
In Pakistan, the ERF has disbursed $43.5 million for 181 projects that have benefited more than 5 million people in Pakistan. The projects, carried out by implementing partners, provided food, water, sanitation, health care, shelter, education, nutrition, protection, community restoration, agriculture and livestock. National non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have received most of the funds.
As there is no consolidated funds appeal mechanism in Pakistan, the ERF is crucial in providing funds to bridge humanitarian gaps in the country. Most ERF projects have contributed to bridging these gaps and meeting acute needs. In many cases, ERF funding was the sole source available to meet critical humanitarian needs.
An independent evaluation conducted in 2011 revealed that the ERF has delivered good results and value for money, and helped strengthen humanitarian partnerships and coordination in Pakistan.
In May 2013 an independent consultant who evaluated ERF Pakistan in 2011 reviewed progress made in implementing the recommendations from the evaluation.
The review noted the ERF in Pakistan has made good progress in addressing the recommendations and as a consequence, the Fund is now in a much stronger position to identify and communicate priorities, critically assess project proposals and address urgent needs in the complex aid environment in Pakistan.
Central Emergency Response Fund
Immediately following a disaster, the United Nations Resident Coordinator or Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) can make a CERF application for humanitarian funding for priority, life-saving activities. Decisions on prioritizing life-saving activities are managed by humanitarian actors on the ground.
CERF funding has enabled agencies in Pakistan to provide life-saving assistance and fill gaps in humanitarian responses to natural disasters and the complex emergency in KP and FATA. Since 2006, Pakistan has received $144 million from CERF to meet the needs of people affected by emergencies e.g. displaced families in and outside camps and returnees.
OCHA’s management of pooled funds allows for a faster response to humanitarian needs. The appeals ensure coordination of humanitarian action, while the tracking of funding facilitates transparency in how humanitarian funding is mobilized. OCHA works with Member States and the private sector to raise funds for CERF and other pooled funds. Member States provide the vast majority of funding, and the private sector provides increasing amounts for coordinated humanitarian action through the pooled funds.
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