The workshop aims at sharing experiences and lessons learned from different crises around the world
Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD), in cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), held a five-day workshop on sharing experiences and lessons learned from different crises around the world with the participation of 18 managers of country-based pooled funds (CBPFs).
The five-day workshop aims to find ways to improve the use and management of humanitarian funding tools and enhancing cooperation and the strategic partnership between QFFD and OCHA.
Misfer Hamad Al-Shahwani, QFFD’s Executive Director of Development Projects Department, reiterated Qatar’s commitment to “helping people in need anywhere in the world with impartial humanitarian assistance delivered through the multilateral system”, adding that this includes “support for country-based pooled funds which are one of the most effective ways to support people affected by natural disasters and manmade conflict.”
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which manages the country-based pooled funds, collects donations from governments and private sectors to provide relief to the front line responding actors in the most critical humanitarian crises including Myanmar, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The Emergency Relief Coordinator of UNHCR has been assumed the job of establishing and operating these funds in case of an emergency or in case, the situation worsens. These funds shall be managed locally by OCHA on behalf of the country’s humanitarian coordinators.
Al Shahwani highlighted the importance of the annual humanitarian fund managers’ workshop and their roles as the global humanitarian needs continue to grow every year. He said, “It is critical that we continue to work together to find new and better ways of best utilizing our limited resources and that country-based pooled funds continue to ensure rapid response, cooperation and collective action in crisis response.”
By the end of October, the amount needed by UNHCR to cover refugee response plans and to meet the humanitarian needs of 105.1 million affected people around the world has been estimated at $24.1 billion this year. The pooled funds across 18 different countries provided nearly $500 million to finance high-priority life-saving projects in NGOs, Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and UN agencies. Since the establishment of the first fund in 1997, the pooled funds provided more than $5 billion to hundreds of relief organizations that provide aid to save the lives of millions of vulnerable groups around the world.
Qatar is currently the 12th largest supporter of country-based pooled funds with $25 million contributed since 2014 to the Turkey Humanitarian Fund, which supports cross border relief operations into Syria. At the global level, Al-Shahwani co-chairs the Pooled Fund Working Group. Qatar is also a key donor to OCHA and committed to fund the organization’s global operations with $10 million per year until 2020.
More details on the Country Based Pooled Funds are available in the UN OCHA website.