Typically, a country’s first encounter with the PBF will be in the form of one or more IRF projects, up to a total of $3 million, to address an immediate peacebuilding need. In these early stages, countries usually will not have been declared eligible for additional PBF funds. In order to receive funding above the $3 million threshold, a country must be declared formally eligible for the PBF by the UN Secretary-General.
Obtaining eligibility opens the door for countries to receive PBF funding through the PRF or to expand their IRF portfolio up to $15 million. Granting eligibility, however, does not influence the amount of funding that may be allocated to a specific country; this consideration is made according to peacebuilding needs and capacities in the country. It should be noted that it is possible to submit the request for eligibility at any time, including before submitting an IRF project, at the same time as requesting or implementing an IRF project or independently of any IRF.
As of mid-2014, eligibility is granted for a period of five years. After that or if a second PRF allocation is being sought, the situation in the country and its eligibility for PBF financing will need to be re-visited.
The question of eligibility should be discussed and agreed to among the UNCT, non-resident UN officials and advisers,1 the Government and the other development partners. These stakeholders will need to consider whether the Peacebuilding Fund is an appropriate source of support for the country’s peacebuilding priorities. In determining whether to apply for eligibility, PBSO also encourages early consultation with the PBF.
Depending on a country’s engagement with the PBC as well as the amount of funding requested, there are different ways for a country to obtain eligibility. In all cases, the eligibility request (using Template 1) is initiated at country level – either by the government or the UN – and submitted by the Senior Resident UN Representative to PBSO, following endorsement by the Government. PBC Countries are automatically eligible for PBF funding and no formal request for eligibility is necessary. Non-PBC Countries must seek eligibility by: (i) either submitting a formal request for eligibility to PBSO; or (ii) submitting an emergency project proposal for IRF funding of no more than $3 million and requesting “provisional eligibility” from the ASG for Peacebuilding.
Formal requests for eligibility are submitted by the Senior Resident UN official and must include evidence of the government’s commitment to peacebuilding. Once an eligibility request is received, PBSO consults the Peacebuilding Commission (where relevant), the Permanent Representative of the country’s mission to the UN, the senior resident UN representative in the country under consideration and the Senior Peacebuilding Group at the Headquarters. PBSO will then recommend a decision to the Secretary-General. PBSO aims to complete the eligibility process, including submission for the Secretary-General’s decision, within 21 days. The Secretary-General’s approval usually takes another 21 days. Once approved by the Secretary-General, the Administrative Agent (MPTF-Office), the UN Country Team and the Permanent Representative to the UN of the country in question are then informed of the country’s eligibility.
In case of an emergency project proposal, the ASG for Peacebuilding can declare ‘provisional eligibility’ for IRF support only on a project-by-project basis, as long as the request does not exceed $3 million in total. For project or portfolio requests of over $3 million, a formal eligibility request is compulsory.
PBSO reviews the eligibility request based on the following factors:
- Critical peacebuilding needs (country at risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict, as indicated by a current conflict analysis; country is recently post-conflict, and peacebuilding gaps have been identified);
- Critical peacebuilding opportunities (a peace agreement is in place; a window of opportunity is currently opened to make a difference; the country is at a crucial cross-roads for peace);
- Commitment of national authorities and stakeholders to the peace process and to addressing the identified conflict factors and triggers;
- Availability of external funds to the country and potential for strategic leverage of PBF resources (the catalytic impact of the PBF);
- The positive role that the UN can play in the country to address the peacebuilding issues (considering its mandate, capacity, perception in country, partnerships and networks).
Countries that have received eligibility approval are qualified for PBSO financial assistance and technical support for putting in place the necessary logistics to design a program. This eligibility package will be provided upon request, based on need and available resources, and will not count against an eventual Priority Plan allocation. Such support can be used for the financing of the set-up of the PBF Secretariat, for support with the conflict analysis, or for the preparation of a Peacebuilding Priority Plan.
Diagram 1 – Eligibility
- 1.Regional Special Representatives of the Secretary-General or Special Advisers of the Secretary-General ↩