When humanitarian organizations appeal for funds to respond to emergencies, OCHA Regional Office for the Pacific (ROP) advocates for and coordinates the mobilization of funds through well-established funding mechanisms.
Emergency Cash Grants
The Emergency Cash Grant is a grant of a maximum of US$100,000 per country and per disaster that can be made available by OCHA in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. If approved, the grant is disbursed within 10 days and covers the most pressing needs of the affected population.
Most recently, Emergency Cash Grants have been issued to support the Samoan Government’s response to Tropical Cyclone Evan in December 2012, and the Government of the Marshall Islands’ response to the severe drought in May 2013.
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)
CERF is a humanitarian fund established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 to enable more timely and reliable humanitarian assistance to those affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts. The fund is replenished annually through contributions from governments, the private sector, foundations and individuals and constitutes a pool of reserve funding to support humanitarian action.
CERF has a grant facility of US$450 million and a loan facility of $30 million. The CERF grant component has two windows; one for rapid response and one for underfunded emergencies.
In the Pacific, the UN Resident or Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) in Fiji or Samoa can make a CERF application for funds to cover priority, life-saving projects from UN agencies immediately following a disaster.
During the Marshall Islands drought crisis, CERF provided a rapid response grant of US$1 million to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in June 2013 to improve access to safe drinking water, provide food assistance and address health concerns.
During emergency response, OCHA ROP tracks finances and shares funding information in simple matrixes to support national governments in the coordination of international aid.
It reports how recipients are allocated humanitarian funding and monitors to what extent the needs of people in crisis are being met.