At the end of December 2018, 21 Humanitarian Response Plans (HRP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (3RP) required US$24.93 billion to assist 97.9 million people in urgent need of humanitarian support. The requirements remained unchanged as of the end of November 2018. The plans are funded at $14.58 billion which amounts to 58.5 per cent of financial requirements for 2018. Notably, the percentage of total funding contributed through humanitarian response plans carried out by the UN with partners in 2018 is estimated at 62.9%. This is higher than at any time in the last ten years except 2017 (66.2 per cent).
Global requirements finished the year $230 million higher than for December 2017, and the amount of funding reported against UN-coordinated appeals at the end of 2018 was $78 million higher than at this time last year.
To make information on vulnerable people’s needs, planned response, funding and funding gaps in humanitarian crises accessible to all in one place, on 4 December, OCHA announced the launch of a new web-based portal, Humanitarian Insight.
With $945 million received from 32 Member States, one crown dependency and the general public through the UN Foundation, 2018 became the fifth consecutive year of record-high contributions received for country-based pooled funds (CBPFs). The increased contributions to CBPFs are testament to donors’ trust in this funding mechanism as a tool for principled, transparent and inclusive humanitarian assistance. Globally, a total of $756 million was allocated during the calendar year to 1,334 projects implemented by 657 partners, with two-thirds of overall CBPF allocations disbursed to NGOs. Over 24 percent were directly allocated to local and national NGOs, amounting to some $183 million. Health, emergency shelter and non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene, food security, nutrition and protection were the largest funded sectors during 2018. In 2018, the Yemen Humanitarian Fund became the largest CBPF ever, allocating $188 million to 53 partners implementing 112 projects. The country-based funds in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Turkey each allocated over $50 million.
Between 1 January and 31 December 2018, the Emergency Relief Coordinator approved the largest amount of funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in a single year with a total of $500 million. This includes $320 million from the Rapid Response Window and $180 million from the Underfunded Emergencies Window, for life-saving activities in 49 countries. In December, a total of $12.8 million was released to assist Congolese returnees and people expelled from Angola, to meet needs outstanding since the October earthquake in Haiti, and to support people affected by flooding in Nigeria.
Specific appeal information
On 17 December, the Palestinian Authority and the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for $350 million to address critical humanitarian needs of 1.4 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. A full 77 per cent of the requested funds target Gaza where the humanitarian crisis has been aggravated by a massive rise in Palestinian casualties due to demonstrations. Israel’s prolonged blockade, the internal Palestinian political divide and recurrent escalations of hostilities necessitate urgent humanitarian assistance for people assessed as being most in need of protection, food, health care, shelter, water and sanitation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
A three-month Operational Plan for Rapid Response to Internal Displacement issued on 31 December seeks $25.5 million to reach civilians displaced by inter-communal violence in Ethiopia. The plan focuses exclusively on addressing health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, non-food items, protection and agriculture issues related to recent violence-induced displacements around Kamashi and Assoss (Benishangul Gumuz region) and East and West Wollega (Oromia region). Nearly 250,000 people have been displaced in these regions since September 2018. The plan has been developed to bridge the period between now and the official launch of the 2019 Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP). The needs and requirements for the Benishangul Gumuz-East/West Wollega response will be included in the HDRP.
On 13 December, Assistant-Secretary-General/Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator (ASG/DERC) Ursula Mueller delivered a statement to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, where more than 3,000 civilians have been killed and up to 9,000 injured since conflict began in 2014. The crisis affects over 30 per cent of elderly people in the country, the highest proportion of people in this category in the world. The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, which required $187 million, was only 32 per cent funded. Without adequate funds, food, healthcare, water and sanitation, and other life-saving assistance cannot be provided.
During a 14 December briefing the USG/ERC and the Special Envoy for Yemen urged the Security Council to act swiftly to ensure full implementation of the Stockholm Agreement to demilitarize ports in the country. The agreement requires mutual withdrawal of forces from Hodeida city and its ports and a governorate-wide ceasefire to allow desperately needed humanitarian assistance to flow. The USG/ERC encouraged all parties to continue to engage seriously in implementing the multiple agreements reached in Sweden. The Government of Yemen requires billions of dollars in external support for its 2019 budget, and in parallel this year’s humanitarian response plan for Yemen requests $4 billion, about half of it for emergency food assistance.
On 11 December at a meeting in New York on the gravity of the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic, OCHA reiterated that response to this crisis is a priority for the organization and announced that in 2019 a high-level meeting will be arranged to address the impact of underfunding on the level of humanitarian response in the Central African Republic.
In 2019 twelve countries will have multi-year HRPs. These are Afghanistan, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, DRC, Haiti, Niger, Nigeria, oPt, Somalia, Sudan and Ukraine.