Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF)

The Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) for South Sudan was set up in 2012. It is a ‘pooled fund’ that supports the allocation and disbursement of joint donor resources to meet the most critical needs. It improves humanitarian response by:

  • Providing funds in a timely and predictable way;
  • Strengthening coordination under the leadership of the Humanitarian
  • Coordinator;
  • Ensuring funds are channeled to jointly agreed priorities;
  • Helping to respond to anticipated and unforeseen needs.

Coordinated, timely and appropriate allocations

The CHF enables donors to be sure that their contributions are used in a strategic and coordinated manner, to maximise overall benefits to those in critical need. Funds are used for:

  • Pipelines: procurement and pre-positioning of supplies;
  • Front line services: humanitarian activities with communities,
  • households and individuals; and
  • Enablers: support services such as logistics, including transportation of supplies and personnel.

Allocation processes take into account complementary funding streams, including the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and bilateral funding from individual donors.

  • The ‘standard allocation’ process takes place twice per year. This creates a predictable funding cycle to allocate and disburse funds strategically in line with agreed priorities and gaps identified in joint plans.
  • A ‘reserve allocation’ process is used to respond rapidly and flexibly to unforeseen needs. In the fluctuating environment of the current crisis, this means funds can be used in line with the shifting pattern of needs and evolving priorities.

Multiplier effect and value for money

The CHF ensures that the contributions from any one donor are used collectively and in harmonised ways which create greater overall impact and value for money. Pooling contributions means that collective resources can be used to address agreed priorities across the full spectrum of needs such as health, food assistance, nutrition, livelihoods, education, shelter, protection and logistics.

Transaction costs are rationalised in the CHF Technical Secretariat, with a joint OCHA-UNDP team handling administration, monitoring, reporting, audit, capacity assessment and other checks and balances for donors.

Potential pitfalls for donors acting individually are avoided - such as duplicating allocations with those of others, or of funding projects which do not reflect best technical approaches or efficient use of resources.

Inclusiveness, transparency and accountability

The Humanitarian Coordinator, supported by the Humanitarian Country Team and the CHF Advisory Board, determines allocations to prioritised activities and geographical areas.

An Advisory Board has oversight and comprises representatives of donors, NGOs (national and international) and UN agencies to ensure decisions reflect views across the humanitarian community.

It meets regularly and constantly strives to improve the fund based on real-time feedback.

Funds are allocated to support NGOs and UN agencies, in accordance with their expertise and capacity to respond, and their ability to raise additional funding from other sources.

Monitoring and reporting

The CHF ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting arrangements are in place. Achievements from individual projects are assessed in terms of their contribution towards the overarching objectives of the Crisis Response Plan.

Information about donor contributions, allocations to implementing organisations, and the achievements of those implementing organisations are readily available and made public

CHF in 2014

So far the CHF has allocated close to $63 million since the onset of the crisis in December 2013. Seven UN agencies, 40 international NGOs and 11 national NGOs have received CHF funding.

A standard allocation which had been prepared before the crisis was reoriented in January 2014 following the outbreak of conflict. Just under $43 million was channeled towards NGOs and UN agencies with presence on the ground and capacity to scale up life-saving operations.

In March 2014, an emergency reserve allocation of $20 million was made to the Food Security and Livelihoods Cluster and the Non-Food Items and Emergency Shelter Cluster, to provide urgently needed seeds, tools, fishing gear, household items and shelter materials in the conflict-affected states.

How can you help?

Donors that wish to contribute to the CHF South Sudan sign a Standard Administrative Arrangement (SAA) with the UNDP Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) Office in New York. The MPTF Office receives contributions from more than 70 donors to support work in different countries around the world.

The MPTF Office maintains a website for the CHF South Sudan which contains up-to-date information on donor contributions, funded projects, disbursements to UN agencies and to NGOs, and annual expenditures. Visit http://mptf.undp.org/factsheet/fund/HSS10 for detailed information on financials.