Country-based pooled funds (CBPFs)

Country-based pooled funds (CBPFs) are multi-donor humanitarian financing instruments established by the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC). They are managed by OCHA at the country-level under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC). Donor contributions to each CBPF are un-earmarked and allocated by the HC through an in-country consultative process.

OCHA has managed CBPFs since 1995, when the first Emergency Response Fund (ERF) was established in Angola. Since then, CBPFs have been established in more than 20 countries. As of 2016, CBPFs operate in 18 countries. The map below illustrates where CBPFs are currently active and provides links to additional information.

How do CBPFs work?

CBPFs allocate funding based on identified humanitarian needs and priorities at the country level in line with the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC). Allocations go to UN agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Red Cross/Red Crescent organizations. To avoid duplication and ensure a complementary use of available CBPF funding, allocations are made taking into account other funding sources, including bilateral contributions.

CBPFs factsheet
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Four principles underpin the use of CBPFs:

  • Inclusiveness. A broad range of humanitarian partner organizations (UN agencies and NGOs) participates in CBPF processes and receive funding to implement projects addressing identified priority needs.
  • Flexibility. The programmatic focus and funding priorities of CBPFs are set at the country level and may shift rapidly, especially in volatile humanitarian contexts. CBPFs are able to adapt rapidly to changing priorities and allow humanitarian partners to identify appropriate solutions to address humanitarian needs in the most effective way.
  • Timeliness. CBPFs allocate funds and save lives as humanitarian needs emerge or escalate.
  • Efficiency. Management of all processes related to CBPFs enables timely and strategic responses to identified humanitarian needs. CBPFs seek to employ effective disbursement mechanisms, minimizing transaction costs while operating in a transparent and accountable manner.

CBPFs use two modalities to allocate funds:

  1. Standard allocations.
  2. Reserve allocations - designed to respond in different emergency scenarios. These are described in the Operational Handbook for Country-Based Pooled Funds.