Local NGOs, supported by OCHA’s pooled funds, are on the front lines of humanitarian response

Preparing the distribution of household supplies in El Fasher. Photo: UPO

2023 | CBPF

Afghanistan, CAR, Somalia, Sudan, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Yemen. In an emergency, local and national organizations are often the best equipped to provide water, food, shelter and other life-saving essentials for people in need.

And they are there before anyone else.

On the front lines when crises begin, and building on strong local connections, local organizations help vulnerable people through the worst days of their lives, delivering life-saving assistance.

OCHA’s Country-based Pooled Funds support our local partners. In 2023, the Country-based Pooled Funds together allocated over $338 million to local and national partners. 45 per cent of our partnerships were with local and national partners.

First to act on the front lines

In the first weeks of the war in Gaza, Ma’An Development Center distributed emergency supplies and fresh drinking water, winter jackets, blankets, and baby supplies in Rafah, Khan-Younis, and other affected areas.

In Sudan, United Peace Organization distributed essential household supplies to displaced families under siege in El Fasher. “Despite the poor conditions and the ongoing shelling, our team refused to do anything but complete the task and deliver humanitarian aid to those in need,” said Mohamed Adam, a program officer with UPO.

Protection and education

For the millions of children affected by protracted conflict, education, psychosocial assistance, and protection activities are a lifeline, providing a sense of normalcy and a chance for repair.

OCHA’s Country-based Pooled Funds support local and national organizations to do this work.

In Somalia, Zeituna can make art in a child-friendly space at Iftin displacement site. Somali organization NoFYL supported such spaces in several displacement sites, giving Zeituna and other displaced children respite from crisis situations and a place for healthy activities.

NoFYL is among the Somali organizations who received over 75 per cent of the Somalia Humanitarian Fund’s standard allocation this year.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, ‘100% Life’, a Ukrainian NGO focusing on education, received $640,000 via a sub-grant from the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund to deploy mobile classrooms to war-torn, front-line communities. These classrooms gave children – including disabled children – an opportunity to learn in the midst of conflict.

In Central African Republic, young people who have left armed groups are able to access mental health care and practical livelihoods training, with support from local organization Esperance, funded by the CAR Humanitarian Fund.

Food security and health

Across the world in Venezuela’s rural Delta Amacuro, Dr. Soila Palacios supports protection programming for women in her community. Her translation work supports a project with Venezuelan organization El Paraguero and HIAS, combining livelihood interventions to improve food security with health surveillance and discussion on protection issues.

In Afghanistan, Nawroz can visit a health clinic for a pre-natal check, the first time in a long time she’s had access to quality care in her rural village. In July 2023, the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund launched a dedicated “localization allocation” of $12.9 million , to support Afghan organizations like the Bakhtar Development Network.

For Nawroz, the project makes a difference. “I deeply appreciate the compassionate and professional care I received at the hospital. It’s a necessity for women and their children in rural areas.” 

A global priority

OCHA’s Country-based Pooled Funds have prioritized increasing funding for local and national organizations.

In 2023, 45 per cent of CBPF partners – or 344 organizations – were local and national NGOs and Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies. This is the largest ever share of local partners directly receiving CBPF funding.

 Overall, nearly 40 per cent of total allocations went to local partners.

Partnership makes a difference

In Yemen, Mohsen’s son was born safely via caesarean section in Ahwar General Hospital. The hospital had lacked an operating room for several years, but Yemeni organization Field Medication Foundation rehabilitated the facility, including a fully stocked operating room, with support from the Yemen Humanitarian Fund.

When the doctor told Mohsen his wife needed a C-section, “I was prepared to transfer her to Razi Hospital in Zinjibar Abyan, which is three hours away,” says Mohsen, “but the doctor surprised me by saying that the operation could be performed here. At first, I couldn’t believe it. Thankfully, the operation was successful, and my wife and son are fine.”

OCHA – POOLED FUNDS DATA HUB – By Country (unocha.org)