Pledge on predictable funding

Philipp Socha
International Law Division


Multi-year Funding (FFO considers all projects ranging from 13 to 36 months as multi-year funding)
From January 2015 to July 2017, the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO) has committed at operational level a total of 334.84 Mio. EUR to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (direct recipients are ICRC, IFRC and GRC). 181.5 Mio. EUR of the total contributions have supported multi-year programmes and projects up to 36 Months. In other words, 54.2 percent off all funding committed during the reporting period was multi-year funding.

In line with the pledge made during the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the FFO has gradually increased the amount of multi-year funding. While in 2015 19.8 percent of all contributions to the RCRC Movement were allocated to operations up to 36 months, 2016 saw an increase to 50.2 percent. This trend became even more tangible in 2017. Until now, 98.2 Mio. EUR of the total of 128 Mio. EUR committed to the RCRC Movement have been multi-year funding, corresponding to 76.6 percent. The challenges that have been encountered were mainly linked to German budgetary and subsidy laws and regulations. These laws prohibit funding which exceeds a period of 36 months.

Apart from that, the FFO promoted multi-year funding at several occasions and in various policy fora. For instance, being chair of the ICRC Donor Support Group (DSG) from July 2016 until July 2017 the FFO stressed the importance to continue and increase multi-year funding and encouraged exchange on the effective advantages of multi-annual funding compared to more flexible funding approaches. As a follow-up to the Grand Bargain and World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), the FFO established an internal working group focusing on the implementation of Germany´s WHS Commitments regarding multi-annual funding in the context of protracted crises.

Early-year Funding
Likewise, early funding has significantly increased. In July 2017, 93 percent of all planned funding to the RCRC Movement in 2017 has positively been reviewed and can be immediately transferred upon request. 55 percent has already been disbursed.

Forecast-based Financing
In the context of Forecast-based Financing, to enable timely and automated funding of humanitarian preparedness measures based on scientific forecast of extreme weather events, the FFO has very closely been cooperating with the GRC, the IFRC and the RCRC Climate Centre since 2015. The FFO has launched a special climate change action plan for the development of the Forecast-based Financing approach in cooperation with the RCRC Movement, which is coordinated by the German Red Cross since 2015.

From 2015 to 2017 the FFO funded the GRC within a first phase of the climate action plan to develop and start implementing the Forecast-based Financing approach in the pilot countries Peru, Mozambique and Bangladesh jointly with the respective National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the RCRC Climate Centre. Mid 2017 a second phase of the climate action plan (from 2017-2020) was approved by the Federal Foreign Office, which allows the continuation and expansion of funding for the GRC in the context of Forecast-based Financing. This funding enables the GRC to implement the main findings of the first phase, such as the need to improve the Forecast-based Financing approach based on robust evidence and to strengthen the preparedness capacities of National Societies in a way that they are able to implement timely early actions at regional/national level in accordance with risk thresholds. Furthermore, special dialogue platform meetings, hosted by IFRC in Geneva, were funded by the FFO to bring together humanitarian actors, governmental and scientific stakeholders to discuss the Forecast-based Financing on a regular basis.

Germany presented the Forecast-based Financing approach jointly with the GRC at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 2017 in Cancun and at the ECOSOC HAS 2017 in Geneva and is promoting and mainstreaming the concept in relevant policy and action areas (e.g. various UN resolutions) and across relevant global policy dialogues. Recently, the Federal Foreign Office also published its new strategy of humanitarian assistance in the context of climate change, highlighting the Forecast-based Financing approach and the related cooperation with the RCRC Movement as one of the main strategic pillars of this strategy.

The overall allocated funding of the FFO for the RCRC Movement in the context of Forecast-based Financing (in total 13.4 Mio. EUR) distributes as follows:
–    Funding for the German Red Cross coordination of the climate change action plan, including the dialogue platform meeting (2014-2019): 3.32 Mio EUR
–    Funding for the German Red Cross for the implementation of pilot projects in Peru, Bangladesh, Mozambique (1st phase 2015-2017): 3.95 Mio EUR
–    Funding for the German Red Cross for the expansion of the Forecast-based Financing approach in the pilot countries Peru, Bangladesh, Mozambique and Philippines (2nd phase 2017-2020): 6.34 Mio EUR.

One of the major challenges in this regard is that humanitarian donors have only limited funding for humanitarian assistance at their disposal and difficulties to invest such funds for risk reduction, preparedness and anticipation (such as Forecast-based Financing) in light of acute crises and emergencies. In order to use these scarce resources more effectively and efficiently, Germany will continue to pursue an anticipatory approach to humanitarian assistance and to further operationalize Forecast-based Financing, as well as to explore solutions for systematic Forecast-based financing approaches within the broader humanitarian system.

Specific programme information can be found: