Humanitarian Financing - Overview

Credit: OCHA/J-L.Mbalivoto

In a humanitarian crisis, humanitarian actors in the field can immediately provide life-saving assistance using pooled funds managed by OCHA. There are two types of pooled funds: the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and country-based pooled funds (CBPFs). CERF receives voluntary contributions year-round to provide immediate funding to UN agencies and IOM for life-saving humanitarian action anywhere in the world. CBPFs allow donors to pool their contributions to specific emergencies and can finance the relief activities of a broad range of partners, including national and international NGOs.
All OCHA-managed pooled funds enable humanitarian organizations to provide the most urgently needed assistance following a natural disaster; fill critical gaps in the response in countries with large, on-going humanitarian operations; and provide basic life necessities for people struggling to survive in many of the world's forgotten emergencies.
Funds come from the voluntary contributions of more than 126 countries and private-sector donors.

The Humanitarian Programme Cycle

The humanitarian programme cycle (HPC) is the coordinated series of actions undertaken to prepare for, manage and deliver humanitarian response. The HPC process in each country is owned and managed by humanitarian actors on the ground. The first step in the planning cycle for protracted crises are a coordinated needs assessment and analysis, the outcome of which is a humanitarian needs overview (HNO) detailing the key humanitarian issues.
Based on the HNO, the country team formulates a response analysis with targets and boundaries, sets strategic objectives and develops cluster plans aimed at meeting those objectives. These strategic country objectives and cluster plans form the humanitarian response plan (HRP), which is the primary planning tool for the humanitarian coordinator (HC) and the humanitarian country team (HCT).
The HRP serves a secondary purpose as fundraising tool, as it can be shared with donors and partners to communicate the strategic priorities of the response. CERF and CBPF funding is recorded against these response plans. All funding information is recorded in the Financial Tracking Service (FTS)database, which is managed by OCHA and available to the public.
OCHA’s management of pooled funds allows for faster response to humanitarian needs. Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) ensure coordination of humanitarian action, while the tracking of funding facilitates transparency in how humanitarian funding is provided. OCHA works with member states and the private sector to mobilize funds for the pooled funds.