The Humanitarian Fund in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was established in 2006 and has been a key funding mechanism ever since, addressing critical humanitarian needs, aligned with interventions prioritized in the DRC Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). The Fund makes funding directly available to humanitarian partners operating in the country so that they can provide timely and effective humanitarian assistance to those most in need, in line with the Global Handbook for Country-based Pooled Funds (CBPFs).
Donor contributions to the DRC HF are unearmarked and are allocated by the Fund to eligible humanitarian partners through an inclusive and transparent process.
In 2020, the DRC HF received US$57.1 million, with top five donors being Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium,
Sweden, and Canada. These contributions and the carry-over of $42 million from 2019 allowed the Fund to allocate $75 million to 111 projects, with 75 still under implementation in 2021.
In line with the overall reduction in HRP funding in 2020, the fundraising target for the DRC HF was set at $60 million for 2021, of which $43.7 million had already been paid or pledged by June 2021.
During the first half of 2021, the DRC continued to face a long and complex humanitarian crisis, marked by population movements, acute food insecurity, acute malnutrition, epidemics, and protection issues.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has had negative impact on socio-economic development in a country where most people already live in extreme poverty and lack basic social services. Cholera and measles outbreaks are recurrent, and the twelfth Ebola outbreak was declared in May 2021.
While an estimated 19.6 million people require humanitarian assistance in the country in 2021, the humanitarian response in the DRC is still severely underfunded.
As of July 2021, the DRC HRP was only 20 per cent funded, with $387 million received out of the $1.98 billion required.
In that context, programmable funds reached by the DRC HF in the first half of the year allowed the Humanitarian Coordinator to launch three allocations amounting to $35.5 million, including a Standard allocation, a Reserve allocation to support the implementation of the national strategy for the Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA); and a Reserve allocation to address urgent needs of the populations affected by the eruption of the volcano Nyiragongo, in North Kivu.
The mid-year monitoring report provides an overview of the DRC HF monitoring activities, conducted from 1 January to 30 June 2021, including programmatic monitoring and financial spot checks. It also aims to highlight some of the most common challenges faced by the Fund and its partners, as well as good practices and lessons learned.
According to the results of the programmatic monitoring conducted between January and June 2021, while 17 per cent of projects monitored demonstrated outstanding performance, and 51 per cent performed well, 29 per cent underperformed but this was justified by the operational context, and 3 per cent underperformed and this was not justified by the context.
For the financial spot checks, 29 per cent of the monitored projects demonstrated good performance while 54 per cent underperformed but for reasons beyond the partner’s control, and 17 per cent underperformed and this was not justified by the context. The DRC HF has taken the necessary follow-up actions on the monitoring results to ensure the most effective project delivery possible.
Key challenges for the DRC HF monitoring in the first half of 2021 include late implementation of activities due to access constraints (insecurity or bad road conditions), travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, difficulties with national customs for procurement, non-operational complaints mechanisms, constraints on money transfers and withdrawals due to limited local banking institutions.