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A year in review: CBPF-funded humanitarian action in 2019

08 Jun 2020


Claudine, a widow with five children, prepares food in front of her shelter at the HGR site for internally displaced people in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, October 2019. Credit: OCHA/Ivo Brandau

In 2019, OCHA’s country-based pooled funds (CBPFs) continued to be at the forefront of global efforts to help people caught up in crisis.

From fighting food insecurity in Yemen and supporting people affected by floods in South Sudan, to tackling gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and helping children return to school in Myanmar, the 18 funds have saved and protected the lives of vulnerable people in some of the world’s most severe crises.

Together, they allocated a record US$1 billion to reach 27.5 million people with life-saving aid including food, clean water, shelter and health care. Almost half went to international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), with another quarter going directly to national NGOs on the front lines of emergencies.

Credit: OCHA/Dita Anggraeni

Contributing to humanitarian action

Throughout 2019, 34 donors provided funding to 18 CBPFs, with the largest contributions received from the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands and Belgium. Their generosity helped more than 750 partners to save and protect the lives of people in need. By the end of the year, partners had implemented more than 1,600 humanitarian projects, providing food, health care, clean water, shelter and other assistance.

Supporting local responders

CBPFs continued to be the largest direct source of funding for local responders on the front lines of emergency response. A total of $332 million (33 per cent) was channelled to national NGOs, including through sub-grants, leveraging their proximity to affected people and harnessing their local knowledge and social networks. For example, the Syria Humanitarian Fund supported local NGOs in their efforts to rebuild war-torn homes in eastern Aleppo, the former epicentre of the Syria conflict. More than 30 per cent of all allocations in Syria – $ 15 million – supported national partners.  

Credit: OCHA/Dita Anggraeni

Focus on the most vulnerable

The strategic value and focus of CBPFs ensured that greater emphasis was given to the most vulnerable people, and to areas of humanitarian response that are often underfunded or need specific consideration. Women and girls, for example, are disproportionately affected by conflicts and disasters. In 2019, they made up more than half (15.3 million) of all recipients of life-saving aid through CBPFs.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, CBPFs helped thousands of survivors of gender-based violence to get the help they needed. In Ukraine, where a new fund was established in 2019, resources were made available to humanitarian partners operating to help address the acute needs of the elderly and people with disabilities in conflict-affected areas.


Learn more about how our funds improved humanitarian action in 2019. All 18 country-level Annual Reports and the Global Report can be accessed via