Colombia Humanitarian Fund - Annual Report 2015

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According to the monitoring of the Strategic Response Plan (SRP) published in 2015, of the US$112 million that Colombia received, US$68 million responded to the SRP, which was 50 per cent of all funding during the year.
The Colombian Humanitarian Fund, former CBPF, received contributions from Sweden (US$465,170), Switzerland (US$616,728) and Spain (US$659,341) in 2015. Taking into account the total amount of resources that the Fund could execute in 2015, this included: US$3,323,356 which includes a carry-over from 2014 (US$1,582,117) and contributions from Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. This allowed for the financing of 11 projects for a total of US$2,114,781. The Fund in 2015 implemented 641 per cent of available resources.
During 2015, the Fund focused its response on humanitarian situations caused by natural disasters and armed conflict: i/ 10 projects were financed to respond to emergencies related to armed conflict in the departments of Choco, Naririo, Norte de Santander, COrdoba and Caqueta; ii/ 1 project implemented to attend disaster-affected populations in Arauca. Out of 112 projects approved for 2015, 3 were allocated to national NGOs (US$600,510) and 8 to international NGOs (US$1,514,272). There was no financing allotted to a UN Agency.
Some 38 per cent of resources allocated by the Fund in 2015 were in the WASH sector, 34 percent Food Security and Nutrition, 12 per cent Shelter, 6 per cent Education in Emergencies, and 6 per cent Early Recovery and finally Protection with 3.5 per cent.
OCHA led the first project review process, guaranteeing compliance with Fund guidelines and articulation with the Colombian Humanitarian Fund Operations Manual. The Review Committee, made up of Cluster leads and a focal point from UNFPA-UNWOMEN, carried out a secondary review process to guarantee the technical quality of projects. Colombian Humanitarian Fund HQ in New York supported a financial review of projects prior to proceeding with final approval by the Humanitarian Coordinator.
On average, the approval process of Colombian Humanitarian Fund projects in 2015 (from proposal submission to the first disbursement of funds), took 109 days. - During 2015, there were variations in the average duration for approvals, with delays in May and June related to a transition of the Fund to new guidelines, requiring the use of the Grant Management System (GMS) -a new web-based platform that supports the management of the grant life cycle -and the implementation of UMOJA3 - The approval process of the projects presented in the below table highlights major differences regarding the number of days spent in each of its phases. However, the cases signaled in red represent specific delay situations due to UMOJA implementation (projects 53 - 54 - 1743), end of year holidays and operational closure of the NGO (project 2095), correction and adjustment of the projects to comply with financial requirements (projects 2095 -2091) and late response from HQ (projects 53 -54).
The reduction in number of days during both approval and disbursement process represents the principal challenge for the Fund in 2016. The Fund seeks to achieve an average of 50 days to disbursement in order to provide more efficient and rapid response to the humanitarian needs of Colombia. For this to occur, the Fund will review lessons learned in each stage of the review process, and will work in a coordinated manner with FCS, will train national and international NGOs on financial and program requirements, and will provide support to national NGOs and new Fund partners.
The allocation process (from proposal submission to first disbursement) is detailed for the standard allocation round for chronic emergencies in 2015. There was a delay particularly in projects 53 to 20958. In addition, delays occurred during the financial review times.
During 2015 there were several changes such as the introduction to new guidelines and CBPF operational manual, the Grant Management System (GMS), and capacity assessment process of Implementing Partners, which meant an adjustment period that was necessary in the Fund approval process.
With the upcoming peace agreement in 2016 the Fund need as well to adapt to this context. Therefore, OCHA Colombia and the Fund has started discussions with the MDTF, donors and the Advisory Board among others. Donors such as Spain, Switzerland and Sweden, as well as, some national and international NGO have not only emphasized the importance of keeping the Fund, but also have highlighted the importance and relevance of the Fund in the context of a post agreement to provide assistance to the humanitarian needs.
In addition, donors such as Spain, Sweden and Switzerland have confirmed their interest to continue supporting and contributing to the Fund in 2016.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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