51. To be effective in response, humanitarian financing should be timely and targeted where needs are greatest. Despite the global economic downturn in 2009, the United Nations humanitarian financing system continued to grow, and more importantly, to become increasingly effective and accountable. Pooled funds continue to be a useful tool in facilitating rapid response and immediate life-saving assistance, particularly the Central Emergency Response Fund, country-based pooled funds (common humanitarian funds and emergency response funds) and other humanitarian financing mechanisms such as the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
52. Contributions to the consolidated appeals process reached $6.9 billion in 2009, nearly double the amount raised two years earlier, yet significant discrepancies persist in the level of funding across sectors. While funding for the Central Emergency Response Fund dropped from $453 million in 2008 to $401 million in 2009, the decrease was due largely to fluctuations in global currency exchange rates. Some 22 Member States increased their contributions in their national currencies, while another 17 countries joined the ranks of Central Emergency Response Fund donors in 2009, bringing the total number of Member States that have contributed to the Fund to 117. Levels of funding for country-based pooled funds also decreased from $407 million in 2008 to $339 million in 2009. Five new country-based emergency response funds were established in the reporting period, bringing the total to 18.
53. All of these funding mechanisms continued to focus on further improving their effectiveness and accountability. For the Central Emergency Response Fund and the consolidated appeals process, accountability measures were strengthened by developing a draft performance and accountability framework and piloting reporting outcomes by clusters. Monitoring systems were further strengthened for country-based pooled funds in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also strengthened its capacity for administering these funds by establishing a dedicated administrative unit in Geneva.