Support to the Humanitarian Response Fund (HRF) in Ethiopia

Project completed

The Humanitarian Response Fund (HRF) managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) provides flexible funding for life-saving interventions in Ethiopia. Due to consecutive failure of rainfall amplified by the El Nino phenomenon, the continued influx of refugees as well as sporadic disease outbreaks, Ethiopia is currently facing a serious humanitarian crisis. Switzerland's contribution to the HRF allows for a rapide, flexible, coordinated and needs-based humanitarian response.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Material relief assistance
Emergency food assistance
01.03.2016 - 31.12.2016
CHF 1'650'000

In 2015, Ethiopia saw a significant increase of the number of persons in need of relief assistance, from 2.9 million at the beginning of 2015 to 10.2 million 1 at the beginning of 2016 due to the failure of rains and resulting drought amplified by the El Nino phenomenon. According to the 2016 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD), an estimated 10.2 million people will require food assistance in addition to the 7.9 million food insecure people targeted by the Productive Safety Net Program of the Government. Overall, the gross emergency food and non-food requirement for 2016 stands at USD 1.4 billion, currently only 46 % funded. In this context, the HRF aims to provide prioritized support to the underfunded humanitarian needs identified by the HRD and to complement other emergency responses.


Vulnerable women, men and children have access to emergency life-saving assistance, based on their needs and in a coordinated and timely manner.

Target groups

Disaster-affected communities in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, mainly children, women and the elderly. Project-specific target groups will be defined by each agency submitting a funding reques to the HRF.

Medium-term outcomes
  1. To ensure more adequate, timely, flexible and effective humanitarian financing
  2. To empower the humanitarian coordination system
  3. To support the development of the cluster approach to coordination and
  4. To improve partnerships between the UN and non-UN actors

Expected results:  

In line with the prioritization exercize undertaken by each sector/cluster in Januar 2016, the following key outputs are expected for the next HRF allocation:

Acute malnutrition treated, storage for food provided, shelter and NFis for displaced persons provided, seeds distributed, water hygiene and sanitation services improved, disease outbreaks such as scabies addressed, other basic humanitarian needs fulfilled, and humanitarian coordination in the country improved. Project-specific outputs will be formulated by each agency submitting a funding request to the HRF.

Results from previous phases:  

Since its establishment in 2006, the HRF has managed and disbursed more than USD 275 million. In 2015, the HRF funded 59 multi-sectoral projects worth USD 29 million in Ethiopia. Nutrition was the highest funded sector followed by WASH and agriculture including livestock feed and emergency seed response due to the poor food security condition of communities.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Coordination with other projects and actors

This contribution to the HRF is part of the overall response of the SOC to the current drought and emergency situation targeting the most affected areas and complementary to other contributions (financial and expertise) to UN multilateral agencies and partners.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   1'650'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'650'000 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF  8'700'000
Project phases Phase 11 15.05.2017 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)

Phase 10 01.03.2016 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)

Phase 9 01.07.2015 - 31.12.2015   (Completed) Phase 8 01.07.2014 - 30.06.2015   (Completed) Phase 6 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2012   (Completed)