1.4.7 Humanitarian financing and funding mechanisms

There are three key UN funding mechanisms that apply in emergencies, although experience shows they are currently not necessarily easy for NGOs to access, and can be very slow:

  • CERF (Central Emergency Response Fund) is available to UN agencies to support humanitarian response. NGOs cannot access funding directly but can be engaged as implementing partners of the UN agencies receiving CERF funding.
  • ERF (Emergency Relief Funds) are funds made available to NGOs through OCHA to address critical gaps in humanitarian assistance. Management of ERFs varies from country to country.
  • Pooled/Common Humanitarian Funds (CHF) are funds given by donors that are not earmarked for any specific purpose, and can be used flexibly. Responsibility for allocating funds is given to the Humanitarian Coordinator. NGOs are eligible to receive CHF funds, although this is at the discretion of the Humanitarian Coordinator.

In addition to these funding mechanisms, the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) is a joint planning mechanism that can be an important way to seek donor funding. CAP is a mechanism to present a broad collection of funding proposals to the donor community. The CAP is managed by OCHA and while most proposals included are for UN agencies, NGOs are often also included. Actual funding decisions are managed directly between the donor and the implementing agency.