The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
UNICEF public sector partner
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) role is to bring together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. The core function of the organization is to mobilize and coordinate effective humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors; advocate the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions.
OCHA has two main humanitarian pooled funding mechanisms: Central Emergency Response Fund and Country-Based Pool Funds. OCHA also has provided funds to UNICEF through a third funding mechanism Emergency Cash Grant (ECG), addressing life-saving and life-sustaining support to victims of natural disaster situations.
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) enables humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises strike.
CERF’s Rapid Response window allows country teams to kick-start relief efforts immediately in a coordinated and prioritized response when a new crisis emerges. CERF’s window for Underfunded Emergencies helps scale-up and sustain protracted relief operations to avoid critical gaps when no other funding is available.
In 2022, UNICEF was the top recipient of funding from CERF, receiving $197.2 million.1 CERF allocations to UNICEF in 2022 supported 87 projects in 39 countries.2 Responses receiving more than $10 million in CERF funding in 2022 were those linked to conflict- and climate-related crises in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, the Sudan, Ukraine, and Yemen.
CERF rapid response contributions were among the fastest humanitarian funding to arrive for use in responses. This was evident in places where the humanitarian situation deteriorated and required emergency response and where inter-agency plans were launched or revised, with a CERF Rapid Response window made available soon after. For example, during the Pakistan flood response, the CERF rapid response allocation was the first external contribution to arrive for UNICEF to support the delivery of life-saving WASH and nutrition services to thousands of internally displaced families in Sindh and Balochistan Provinces.
Country-Based Pool Funds (CBPF) contributions are collected into single, unearmarked funds. The funds support the highest-priority projects of the best-placed responders, including international and national NGOs and UN agencies, through an inclusive and transparent process that supports priorities set out in Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs). CBPF are established when a new emergency occurs or when an existing crisis deteriorates. They are managed by OCHA under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator and in close consultation with the humanitarian community.
Allocations of country-based pooled funds decreased from $46.1 million to 12 countries in 2021 to $26.5 million to 8 countries3 in 2022.
Active CBPFs are in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nigeria, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria (including for Cross-border), Ukraine, and Yemen.
2022 contributions to UNICEF
Other Resources (emergency): US$224 million
US$197m through CERF
US$ 27m through CBPF4
Total: US$224 million
2 United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, Allocations by Agency, 2022. Figures generated on 31 May 2023, available at https://cerf.un.org/what-we-do/allocation-by-agency.
3 Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Nigeria, State of Palestine, the Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine and Yemen. Figures generated on 31 May 2023, available at https://cbpf.data.unocha.org/allocations-overview.html.
4 CBPF: US$57.2 million (of which US$26.6 million through OCHA-managed CBPFs)