In June 2014, the Syria Humanitarian Fund (SHF) was initiated after the decentralization of the Syria Regional Emergency Fund, which covered Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The SHF is led and managed by the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) for Syria to support the delivery of country-led response plans.
The Country-based pooled funds in the region have been designed to support and align a comprehensive response to the Syria crisis by expanding the delivery of humanitarian assistance, increasing access, and strengthening partnerships with local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Objectives of the Syria HF
The SHF mobilizes and channels resources to humanitarian partners to rapidly address the most critical emergency response needs for the millions of people affected by the humanitarian crisis in Syria. The Fund operates under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, within the parameters of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), and in accordance with priorities identified by the Humanitarian Country Team.
Specifically, the SHF aims to support life-saving, protection, and life-sustaining activities by filling critical funding gaps; promote the needs-based delivery of assistance in accordance with humanitarian principles; improve the relevance and coherence of humanitarian response by strategically funding priorities identified in the HRP; and expand delivery of assistance to underserved and high severity areas through partnership with the best placed actors.
• Addressing emerging and new priorities. SHF will support scaling up country preparedness and response operations of COVID-19 pandemic, among other emergencies as identified by the Humanitarian Coordinator and HCT. While two allocation (standard and reserve) modalities will be used to respond to humanitarian needs, reserve allocations will be issued only for new unforeseen and emergency needs identified by the HCT and operational partners.
• Helping cover priority gaps in the HRP. The SHF will prioritize life-saving needs; protection support for women and girls including gender-based violence; reproductive health and women empowerment; people with disabilities and the elderly, education programmes for young people and life-sustaining needs in the most underserved, high severity areas and resilience programmes mainly for returnees in areas shifted control.
• Leveraging on diversified SHF-partnerships in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The SHF will continue to support projects which address critical gaps in sector strategies and expand coverage to areas of highest need using different partnerships while prioritizing best placed partners in the response. Local partners with access and capacity will be prioritized in the implementation of SHF projects to enhance community engagement, ownership and enhance sustainability in deliverables.
• Improving the relevance and coherence of the humanitarian response. Funds will be strategically allocated based on the needs identified in the HNO and within the parameters set in the HRP, in addition to emerging crisis. Independent assessments of needs and priorities identified by the area HCTs as well as by partners on the ground will inform allocations. Priority sectors will be supported at national and sub-national level in and promote integrated programming/responses to identified needs.
• Strengthening risk management and accountability frameworks to enable effective use of resources and value for money. Frameworks will be solidly based on the context and SHF operational manual within the CBPF global guidelines handbook
• Supporting and strengthening HC coordination mechanism. The SHF will remain a pivotal strategic tool used to strengthen and enhance coordination mechanism between the HC and all stakeholders including response to newly accessed areas as well as coordinated response in onset crisis and underserved locations.
• Expand visibility of SHF-funded projects through various media and communication outlets, including donor visibility and that of partners, to convey messages on needs of the affected population, the effectiveness of the fund, and provide operational update.
In 2020, US$68.4 million were allocated through the SHF, to 50 partners running 96 projects, resulting in humanitarian assistance reaching 5.5 million people.