Pooled funds have enabled more timely and flexible funding for responding to sudden humanitarian crises, and have made it possible to operate in otherwise underfunded emergency settings. In the context of the World Humanitarian Summit, the UN Secretary-General (SG) recommended that member states and other donors should double the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to $1 billion, with the Grand Bargain calling for an exploration of whether NGOs could directly access CERF. The SG also called to increase the aid funneled through the Country-based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) to 15 per cent by 2018. Given the current and growing importance of pooled funding, it is important that humanitarian NGOs understand how these mechanisms function and how they can be accessed in order to be part of improving the overall response to humanitarian crises.
NGOs are also managing a growing number of pooled funding mechanisms. The START fund (established and managed by a consortium of NGOs) is providing a quick alternative avenue for NGOs to access timely humanitarian funding. The NEAR Network is exploring options for NGO-run pooled funds at the local level.
In the third session of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, jointly organized by ICVA and PHAP, participants were provided with an overview of the different existing pooled funding mechanisms with a focus on the CBPFs, and pooled funds managed by NGOs. Guest experts also addressed current challenges and opportunities regarding NGO access to pooled funds, followed by an opportunity to questions and answers.