Emergency Funds

Through its flexible emergency funding pools, DRC can rapidly allocate funds in support of life-saving humanitarian action anywhere in the world.

Emergency funds can be allocated to our Regional and Country Offices enabling us to respond with life-saving, humanitarian activities in the initial stages of a sudden onset crisis. Financial resources are also released to respond to specific time-critical needs on the ground, a significant deterioration in an existing emergency or in areas where we are not presently operating. Scaling operations up and down swiftly, efficiently and productively is key when it comes to fulfilling the humanitarian mandate, and ensuring that scarce resources are used with maximum impact. The pre-positioning of unrestricted financial resources is of vital importance in allowing us to build, and maintain, capacity in emergencies.


Introduction to emergency funds

Armed conflict, poverty, terrorism, organized crime, large mixed migration flows and chronic  food shortages, as well as weak state institutions, strong population growth and climate change makes responding to humanitarian needs immensely complex, challenging, and in high demand. And unfortunately, the financial resources needed to provide for basic humanitarian assistance are often inadequate compared to the needs on the ground. Some emergencies grab the headlines and attention of donor countries and others less so. When emergencies fade from the headlines, it is much harder to raise the resources needed to address the situation. The need for assistance, however, remains. Emergency funds enable us to provide assistance to those who need it most, regardless of what makes the news or reaches the donor countries.

Currently DRC’s emergency funds are comprised of funding from Danida and the Ole Kirk Foundation.

Decision-making criteria

Emergency funding allocations should fulfill the “life-saving” criteria, and priorities laid out in country EPRPs where available. A range of factors are considered to inform decisions regarding whether to activate emergency funds, including:

  • The life-saving nature of the activities proposed;
  • Whether institutional funding is unavailable, or insufficient for a quick response;
  • Indications that donor funding will become available to replace the emergency funds at a later stage;
  • A DRC Corporate Emergency has been declared;
  • Whether resources will be used to respond to the needs of a sudden-onset emergency, rapid deterioration of an existing crisis, or time-critical intervention;
  • If the funds will be used to jump-start or initiate an new emergency response;
  • The intervention proposed is based on recent, coordinated needs assessments and the EPRP, there is access/capacity to implement, it is essential for the humanitarian response, and it is prioritized by the all levels of DRC in a consultative process;
  • It works in support of other institutional funding.

Emergency funding requests are reviewed by the HQ Emergency Unit to determine the eligibility and suitability of the emergency intervention proposed. The emergency funds mainly target countries where we are already operational, but can also support new country start up interventions.

How it works

The allocation of emergency funds are approved on an ad hoc basis by the Head of Emergencies. The Emergency Unit is responsible for ensuring that resources are allocated properly, disbursed in a timely manner, and that use of the funds is reported appropriately and transparently.

The process for allocating funding is as follows:

  1. Country or Regional Offices submit an online request to the HQ Emergency Unit, with a brief outline of why the funds are needed, the proposed intervention, amount requested and project duration. The online request form is available HERE.
  2. Based on discussions with the Emergency Unit and the relevance and feasibility of the intervention, the Country Office may then be asked to submit a formal application for funding using one of the application forms below.
  3. All applications for funding are evaluated by the Head of Emergencies and relevant projects will be submitted for approval to Danida or the Ole Kirk Foundation.

Due to the nature of the mechanism funds should normally be spent within 6 months from the date the emergency funds allocation is approved, however depending on the context a longer duration can be agreed, up to 12 months.



Please note that all potential applications must be discussed with the HQ Emergency Team before submission.



For requests, support and guidance, contact the HQ Emergency Team: [email protected]

Further details on applications, funding status and reporting requirements is available on Insite.