In 2021, the Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPFs, the Funds) allocated US$1.01 billion to effective humanitarian action in 20 different crises around the world. This was enabled by the highest ever level of contributions from Member States, international organizations and the private sector. In response to humanitarian crises, the Funds provided resources flexibly and efficiently to partners on the front lines of humanitarian action.
The Funds helped address the needs of an estimated 42.9 million people caught up in crises, with a specific focus on the needs of women, children and persons with disabilities. CBPFs were instrumental in responding to humanitarian needs, most significantly those arising from conflict ($706 million allocated or 70 per cent), from climate-related and natural disasters ($161 million or 16 per cent) and from disease outbreaks ($111 million or 11 per cent).
The Funds responded to 2021’s most challenging humanitarian crises. The Fund in Afghanistan was at the forefront of the response to the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation, providing a total $166 million to assist 9.7 million people –the year’s largest amount of funding. The Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund provided timely support for the response to the escalating conflict in the Tigray region, with $87 million to assist 3.2 million people; and the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund responded to the crisis in the country with $20.7 million to enable life-saving support for 880,000 people.
In 2021, the Regional Fund for West and Central Africa became operational, representing a major innovation in bringing the benefits of pooled funding to new and underserved geographies. Initially focused on Central Sahel, OCHA’s first regional fund supports action on interconnected humanitarian challenges, prioritizing urgent needs while promoting regional coordination and synergies.
During 2021, the Funds were the leading source of support for local and national organizations in the countries where they operate. With their broad partner networks, the Funds enabled front-line NGOs to deliver humanitarian assistance efficiently, capitalizing on their proximity to affected people, and harnessing local knowledge and social networks. Some $731 million (73 per cent of the total allocated) went to NGOs, including $268 million (27 per cent) directly to local and national partners.
In 2021, the Funds championed support for women and girls, strengthening gender considerations in project reviews, allocating funding specifically to address gender-based violence (GBV), and updating guidance based on dialogue with gender experts. To advance women’s empowerment and prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, the Funds allocated some $55.5 million to projects dedicated to addressing GBV, assisting 3.4 million affected people. The Funds also provided some $35.8 million to local Women-led/Women’s Rights Organizations (WLO/ WRO) and helped build the capacity of 172 WLO/ WROs strengthening their participation in the Funds.
They also fostered greater consideration of gender in allocation strategies, prioritization processes and funding decisions.
The year saw important progress in ensuring to ensure that the Funds remain fit-for-purpose, capitalizing on learning and identifying best practices, in line with developments in the humanitarian sector.
In 2021, significant progress was made to revise the CBPFs’ Global Guidelines, which shape the way the Funds work globally. The revision process was highly consultative - with input from CBPFs’ advisory bodies, the Pooled Fund Working Group (PWFG), the CBPFNGO dialogue, and the individual CBPF Advisory Boards - helping to ensure that the Funds continue to adapt to the evolving needs of partners and operating contexts.