UNICEF responded to 13 Consolidated Appeal Processes (CAPs), 11 Flash Appeals, and 44 Other Appeals in 2008. Overall, UNICEF required a total of US$1.14 billion in 2008 (as of 31 October 2008) for its assisted humanitarian interventions to ensure the protection of vulnerable children and women.

Donors have responded generously to these increased humanitarian funding needs. Donor funding to UNICEF-assisted humanitarian programmes has reached US$600 million as of 31 October 2008, reflecting a considerable increase of 39 per cent from the 2007 level of US$431 million (as of 31 October 2007).

The 2008 CAPs were comparably funded to 2007 CAPs, receiving 53 per cent of their funding requirements as of end October respectively.   Flash Appeals were relatively better funded than CAPs at 61 per cent in 2008.  Other Appeals attracted the least amount of donor attention receiving only 36 per cent of their financial needs as of 31 October 2008.

Apart from traditional bilateral channels of funding, UNICEF received substantial emergency contributions in 2008 through various multi-donor pooled funding mechanisms, including OCHA’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). As was the case in 2007, CERF was the largest source of humanitarian funding for UNICEF in 2008.  Other multi-donor pooled funds for DRC, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, the World Bank MDTF, UN Trust Fund for Human Security, among others also provided substantial contributions to UNICEF. Donors who contributed towards these pooled funding mechanisms also provided emergency funding directly to UNICEF. As illustrated in the chart below, the top ten sources of emergency funding as of 31 October 2008 are as follows: CERF, United States, Japan, Pooled Funds (excluding CERF), European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO), Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, and the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF.

UNICEF continues to welcome thematic (un-earmarked) humanitarian funds as it underscores donors’ commitment to the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles and allows UNICEF to programme more responsively, based on country and global priorities.

Out of the total emergency contributions of US$600 million received as of 31 October 2008, US$115 million (19 per cent) was received by UNICEF thematically. This is slightly greater than the percentage of thematic contributions received in 2007, when thematic humanitarian contributions accounted for 16 per cent of the total humanitarian funds received. In absolute numbers however, compared to the total thematic funding of US$84 million received in 2007, the thematic funding level in 2008 has increased significantly.

The top thematic humanitarian donor in 2008 was Sweden with a total emergency contribution to UNICEF of US$33 million. The chart below shows the top ten donors who generously provided flexible thematic humanitarian funds. Since its inception in 2003, thematic humanitarian funds have increased exponentially from about only US$4 million in 2003 to a cumulative total of US$890 million as of 31 October 2008.

UNICEF is grateful for donors’ support and for the increase in unearmarked thematic humanitarian funding. Given the current global financial crisis, there are concerns about diminishing humanitarian funding in the coming years. While it is uncertain how the financial crisis will unfold, it is clear that all humanitarian actors must continue to work together to avert its possible negative impact on women and children. In the spirit of Good Humanitarian Donorship, UNICEF urges its donors to uphold their humanitarian commitments in the coming years. Maintaining high donor support to humanitarian efforts will be crucial to meeting the life-saving needs and human rights of children and women.