In June, the Humanitarian Pooled Fund (HPF) for the oPt launched its first call for proposals to cover unfunded humanitarian projects included in the 2015 Strategic Response Plan (SRP). Overall, a total of 36 proposals were submitted, of which 26 were recommended by the relevant clusters, and 11 were finally approved by the HPF review board for a total of $2.5 million. The selected projects, to be implemented by four national NGOs and seven international NGOs (four of them in partnership with national NGOs), address critical needs in the areas of education, food security, health and nutrition, protection, shelter and WASH. Three of these projects will be implemented in the Gaza Strip and nine in the West Bank.
The HPF, which was created earlier this year, is the successor to the Emergency Response Fund (ERF) activated in 2007 to provide rapid funding in response to sudden onset emergencies. In addition to maintaining the original ERF role through a reserve of at least $4 million, the HPF will support high priority projects included in the SRP but not directly funded by donors. Each individual proposal can receive up $250,000. Only projects meeting the criteria developed by the inter-cluster coordination group and endorsed by the Fund’s Advisory Board are eligible. The realigned HPF will enable the Humanitarian Coordinator to target the most critical humanitarian needs and funding gaps more effectively.
The 2015 SRP has so far received nearly $303 million or 42.9 per cent of total requests ($705 million). Funding for projects identified as top priority is even lower and stands at just 29 percent. The possibility of launching a second HPF call for proposals during 2015 to cover these gaps depends on the availability of funding, which is currently being sought urgently.
With a contribution of $2.8 million, Belgium is the latest addition to a group of nine donors contributing to the HPF and part of the Fund’s Advisory Board. So far in 2015, the HPF has received contributions from Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Ireland and Switzerland.