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Peacebuilding Fund Heralded as Effective, but Faces Financing Shortfall

24 June 2015 – At the fifth annual High-level Stakeholders Meeting of the Fund, held today in New York, UN member states enthusiastically recognized the Fund as a crucial mechanism to support national peacebuilding efforts. It’s unique ability to transcend funding silos, bring the UN together and act quickly was repeatedly praised. Donors pledged to continue their current levels of support, but given the Fund’s growing ability to hit its programming target, without additional resources it will face a $40 million shortfall in 2015.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson noted four lessons that had been learned during the Fund’s first decade: i) the importance of supporting national political leadership, ii) the importance of political settlements and inclusive national dialogue, iii) the need to do more to demonstrate our collective commitment to recognising the critical role of women in peacebuilding, and iv) the need for the United Nations to work together in its support of nationally-led efforts. He called upon member states to provide predictable financing for the Fund, and asked whether it might be time to call upon assessed contributions for peacebuilding purposes.

Keynote speaker, H.E. Mr. Geraldo Martins, Minister of Finance, Economy and Plan for the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, appreciated the Fund’s commitment to line up behind the Government’s vision of an inclusive, lasting peace through a strengthened social contract between the State and its people.
Underlining the strong collaboration between the Department of Political Affairs’ work and the Fund, Under-Secretary Feltman observed that, “While the Fund is widely praised for its ability to act quickly, its commitment to stay the course and accompany a country through all stages of the peacebuilding process is perhaps its even greater contribution.”

Thirty Member States took the floor to comment on the Fund’s work. Many recognised that conflict prevention is at the heart of peacebuilding, and was needed more than ever given the prevalence of conflict. Stakeholders noted specifically the value they place on the Fund’s role as a catalytic, flexible and rapid financing mechanism. Member States – both recipients and donors – highlighted the critical importance of broad national ownership. Many raised the need to empower the role of women in peacebuilding.

Despite its recognised unique role and proven successes, however, the Fund also faces a funding shortfall. While the Fund commits to a $100 million programming target which it is consistently meeting, funding commitments have fallen short. The fund anticipates close to $60 million in pledges in 2015. Without adequate support, the Fund will not be able to heed the calls of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations to scale up its efforts, and will even be constrained from delivering on current requests, a dilemma that Nigel Roberts, Chair of the Peacebuilding Fund’s Advisory Group called “astonishing.” Noting the mounting evidence through repeated evaluations of the Fund’s effectiveness, Mr. Roberts cautioned that “Letting the PBF languish would be an ironic and depressing outcome.”

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support and head of the Peacebuilding Support Office, underscored that the Fund has applied lessons from its early years and is focused on national ownership, UN coherence, fast and flexible programming, building new partnerships and continuous learning and innovation.

However, noting the financial shortfall, he cited the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations that said investing in conflict prevention is not only smart policy but makes fiscal sense. He encouraged current donors to scale-up their support, and new donors to come forth from the sidelines, declaring “the time for action is now”.

Formal speeches from the 2015 PBF stakeholder meeting can be accessed here


On 10 June 2015, PBSO updated an expert-level working group on the status of the Peacebuilding Fund. The meeting reviewed current programming highlights, alerted partners to the upcoming Annual Stakeholder Meeting on 24 June, 2015 and reviewed PBF workplan priorities beyond country programming, including thematic work in the areas of the costing of peacebuilding and employment for peacebuilding, in collaboration with the policy branch. The presentation from the meeting can be found here.


The Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on the PBF met on 28-29 April 2015. The meeting coincided with important reviews of the work of the United Nations on building peace, in particular the 2015 United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture Review and the work of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.

This first meeting that served as an induction for the new group also enabled the Group to quickly start deliberation on priorities for its work over the coming two years. During the intense 2-days of consultations with the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and other UN partners, the Group covered issues concerning the PBF’s work in Guinea-Bissau, exchanged views with the Chair of the Advisory Group of Experts for the 2015 Peacebuilding Architecture Review, financing of peacebuilding, and with UNDP and DPKO concerning the extension of state authority. The agenda and the Chairperson’s summary report of the meeting are attached for reference.

The PBF Advisory Group is comprised of ten members who are appointed by the Secretary-General for a two-year term to provide advice and oversight on the allocation and programming of PBF funding. It is chaired by Mr. Nigel Roberts – a retired former co-director of the World Development Report (WDR) team at the World Bank. The Advisory Group is expected to play a key guidance and advisory role to PBSO and the UN at large to follow through on the recommendations to further enhance the effectiveness of the Fund and the UN on peacebuilding

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The Peacebuilding Fund intends to support the DRC Government and MONUSCO’s stabilisation priorities in the east of Congo by using an innovative funding approach in 2015, allocating $8 million in funding immediately with an additional amount possible through matching contributions from other donors. This new tranche of PBF support is fully aligned to the revised MONUSCO International Security and Stabilisation Support Strategy (ISSSS) and the Government’s Provincial Stabilisation Strategies and Action Plans, which identify five pillars of intervention, adapting them to the specific conflict drivers and contexts of 13 prioritised geographic zones in the east. In providing the financial support, PBF will not pre-select its results or its zones, as is the usual case with PBF Priority Plans, but will utilise the newly established stabilisation coordination structures through the stabilisation Trust Fund. In accordance with these structures, a Funding Board (consisting of the UN, Government and contributing donors) will determine the results to be funded and will approve projects, following a competitive process.

Another innovation of the 2015 PBF support is the funding formula, aimed specifically at catalysing additional funding from the donors (and potentially the Government) to the Trust Fund, to strengthen increased coherence of stabilisation support. The amount of PBF support will be determined as follows: (a) an initial contribution of $8m; (b) an additional matching component, to be determined on 1 May 2015, of $1m for each additional $3m pledged by others to the Trust Fund by that date; and (c) a review by 1 November 2015 that looks at progress to date, and, depending on progress and available resources with PBF in New York, considers a possible additional matching contribution. Any matching elements of PBF will be capped once the Trust Fund achieves its initial $40m capitalization for 2015.

The new PBF contribution is made in recognition of the strengths of the revised ISSSS and its implementing plans, including: a detailed conflict analysis with Government involvement, prioritisation of intervention and zones and an increased emphasis on local government ownership as well as on community dialogue as starting point as well as a transversal priority for all interventions. Moreover, the timing of the PBF support takes advantage of the political window of opportunity to support stabilisation in the east, following a significant investment by MONUSCO, the Government’s STAREC program and the partners in undertaking detailed analysis and preparing the strategies and action plans, which were approved by Government on 8 April. This PBF allocation builds on previous investments of $28 million. See more information on PBF support to DRC.


In keeping with the PBF Business Plan 2014-2016 and the expanded monitoring and evaluation (M&E) focus, PBSO has prepared a detailed Guidance Note on the M&E requirement for all PBF funded projects. The Note provides additional information on monitoring, reporting and evaluation requirements for (i) IRF projects, (ii) IRF “packages’ of support and (iii) PRF support. This expanded guidance will be integrated into the PBF Guidelines. It is available in French and in English.


The Peacebuilding Fund recognizes that systematic inclusion of women in peacebuilding is essential to the just reconstruction of political, legal, economic and social structures, and to the advancement of gender equality goals. This is not only a matter of women’s and girl’s rights, but of effective peacebuilding.

The Security Council has highlighted, through the adoption of a broad normative framework of several resolutions, the importance of increasing women’s participation in preventing, resolving and recovering from conflict, as well as the necessity to address the impact of conflict on women. The importance of women’s role in the economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy of war-torn societies has also been the focus of the Secretary-General 2010 report on “Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding” (S/2010/466). The report defined a Seven-Point Action Plan on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding outlining commitments in 7 areas, to ensure that women’s priorities are addressed, their participation is guaranteed and a gender perspective is applied to all aspects of peacebuilding. Under the areas on financing, the Secretary-General committed the UN system to allocate at least 15% of UN-managed funds in support of peacebuilding to projects that “address women’s specific needs, advance gender equality or empower women” as their principle objective.

Together with its partners, the PBF wants to strengthen the participation of women in political processes, enhance their voices in post-conflict planning processes and address their specific post-conflict needs. The PBF recognizes that rebuilding after conflict is the opportunity to “build back better” by addressing gender inequality and reaffirming women’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. In addition, PBF underscores the conclusion of the Secretary-General’s report on “Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding” that, in post-conflict settings, targeted interventions are required to break patterns of violence and to capitalize on the leadership roles women may assume during conflicts.

Since becoming operational in 2007, the PBF has adopted proactive measures to support peacebuilding approaches that promote gender equality as part of its strategy to prevent relapse into conflict. A gender marker was adopted in 2009 to track these commitments. As an overall principle, and as reaffirmed in its 2014-2016 Business Plan, PBF works to make sure that its entire portfolio is gender mainstreamed, i.e. that all peacebuilding interventions it supports consider gender issues as part of the conflict analysis, priority setting, budget allocation, implementation, as well as in monitoring and evaluation.

Some examples of PBF-supported peacebuilding activities that promote gender equality and empower women:

  • In Guinea Conakry (2013) and Guinea Bissau (2014), the PBF supported the monitoring of the elections by women from civil society through the set-up of a Women Situation Room which acted as early warning mechanism and contributed to peaceful elections.
  • In Yemen, PBF supported women and young people’s participation in the National Dialogue, enabling them to develop common positions across party lines.
  • In Nepal, the PBF has funded the provision of reproductive health services, psychosocial and legal counselling, and livelihood support to survivors of gender-based violence, combined with a “do-no-harm” approach to documenting sexual violence cases.
  • In Liberia, support from the PBF has enabled the establishment of a specialized unit within the Ministry of Justice exclusively dedicated to prosecuting crimes of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), as well as the training of judiciary and police on cases-processing and victim support;

In 2011, to help meet the SG’s 15% target, PBF launched a first Gender Promotion Initiative (GPI), calling for targeted projects on women’s empowerment and gender equality. This first GPI allocated US$ 6.1 million to 8 projects (in Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nepal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda), which as of August 2014 are mostly still being implemented.

pdf Download Overview of PBF Gender Promotion Initiative 1

In great part thanks to this GPI, PBF reached the mid-term 10% target that had been defined by the Policy Committee for 2012. However, in 2013, PBF saw the proportion of projects targeted gender equality as main objective decrease to 7.4%, demonstrating that proactive, exceptional measures remain indispensable to promote gender in peacebuilding programmes and projects.

PBF Gender Marker 2007-2014

The 2013 independent Global Review of the PBF, as well as the independent Thematic Review on Gender and Peacebuilding commissioned by PBSO in mid-2013, both recommended that a second Gender Promotion Initiative be launched to continue actively promoting and funding gender-responsive peacebuilding.

The Peacebuilding Fund launched a second Gender Promotion Initiative (GPI2) in the Fall of 2014, to continue deepening the integration of women’s empowerment and gender equality in the overall peacebuilding portfolios supported by PBF in selected countries. The GPI2 also aimed at increasing PBF’s total funding allocation to projects dedicated to advance gender equality and/or empower women. 17 countries were invited to apply to a two-step, competitive process. This led, at the end of 2014, to the selection of 9 projects submitted by 6 countries (Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Somalia), were selected for funding, for a total amount of $7,628,110. Projects range from political participation to security sector reform, access to land, participation to local governance and prevention and response to gender-based violence. PBF believes they will substantively contribute to gender equality in the selected countries and provide important lessons learned and promising practices for further gender-responsive peacebuilding in the future. Please click here to see the overview of the approved and conditionally approved projects. Please click here to see an overview of the PBF allocation with regards to the gender marker of the projects, which assesses to what extent a project focuses on gender empowerment.

pdf Download GPI2 Concept note

On 16 September 2015 PBSO received a letter from UN Women, congratulating it for increasing financial allocations to gender-responsive peacebuilding and also for continued efforts to enhance accountability for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

pdf Download UN Women letter to PBSO congratulating for efforts

Conakry, 8 February 2015: The United Nations in Guinea offers its condolences for the death of Thierno Aliou Diaoune, National Coordinator for the UN Peacebuilding Fund.


The United Nations is deeply saddened by the death of Mr Diaoune in Conakry on the evening of Febrary 6, and presents its sincere condolences to his family.

Mr. Diaoune was a trusted United Nations’s partner and a tireless advocate for the construction of peace, democracy and human rights in Guinea –working tirelessly for a better world.

Since 2012, his efforts as the National Coordinator for the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund have been widely recognized by the Government, the full United Nations family of agencies in Guinea, and the many development partners of Guinea.

At the request of the Peacebuilding Fund, Mr Diaoune has traveled across Africa, seeking to bring what he and colleagues had learned at home to the benefit of others across the continent.

In his work, whether in Guinea or abroad, Mr. Diaoune’s sharp intellect, humor, diplomacy and – perhaps above all – his personal warmth made him someone who was always being sought for advice and leadership.

Prior to his work with the Peacebuilding Fund and UNDP, Mr. Diaoune served the Government as Minister of Youth and Sport, and earlier still worked as a civil society activist — all of this underlines his lifelong commitment to building a better society. The United Nations welcomes the announcement by the Government of a full investigation into Mr. Diaoune’s death and offers his full support.

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

New York, 10 February 2015: The Secretary-General condemns, in the strongest terms, the killing of Thierno Aliou Diaoune, National Coordinator for the UN Peacebuilding Fund, in Conakry, Guinea, on 6 February 2015.

Mr. Diaoune was a trusted United Nations partner and a tireless advocate for the construction of peace, democracy and human rights in Guinea.

The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement by the Government of a full investigation into Mr. Diaoune’s death. The Secretary-General presents his sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Diaoune.


The Secretary-General appointed on 2 February 2015 the members of the fourth Advisory Group of the Peacebuilding Fund for a period of two years, 2015-2016. pdf Download Note Verbale

The Group is a critical component of the PBF’s governance structure and provides the Secretary-General with advice on the speed and appropriateness of the fund allocation and monitors overall performance.  This fourth Advisory Group will play a particularly important role, as it convenes during the time that the 2015 Peacebuilding Architecture Review will be undertaken, and will advise PBF on corresponding follow-up adjustments.  (See more information about the PBA review.)

The Advisory Group will meet twice a year, and will undertake a field visit at least once during its term.

The Members of the group are as follows.  The Secretary-General has asked Mr. Nigel Roberts, also a member of the preceding group and co-author of the World Bank’s World Development Report in 2011, to serve as Chair.

  • Mr. Bisrat Aklilu
  • Mr. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning
  • Ms. Mariska van Beijnum
  • Ms. Cecilia Björner
  • Mr. Charles T. Call
  • Ms. Ana Maria Ibanez
  • Ms. Misako Kaji
  • Ms. Shin-wha Lee
  • Mr. Nigel Roberts (Chair)
  • Ms. Torunn L. Tryggestad

The Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), as fund manager within the United Nations Secretariat, provides all secretariat support to the Advisory Group.

The Peacebuilding Fund was established by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council in 2005 as part of the enhanced United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture to provide support to countries emerging from conflict.  The PBF is established under the direct authority of the Secretary-General who reports on the Fund’s performance on an annual basis to the General Assembly.  Since its establishment, the Fund has received over half a billion donors in contributions from the Member States and now supports a total of 26 countries.  More information about the peacebuilding fund can be found on


On October 16, PBSO organized a working level briefing to update partners on the progress of the Fund this year. The new Business Plan is being rolled out quickly, including through drawing more on the IRF as recommended by the 2013 PBF Review. IRF packages are being rolled out in CAR, Mali, Myanmar and Somalia. PBF is on track this year to hit its target of programming $100 million. Full information can be found here and below is a chart of PBF allocations by year, including 2014 up to 30 September and further projections. The PBF forecasts that it will receive over $75 million in contribution in 2014, and welcomes for the first time contributions from the United States and Malaysia. While PBF is in a good position to start 2015, if it hopes to sustainably achieve its targets, expanded funding will be needed.

PBF Allocations 2006-2014 including forecasts

PBF Allocations 2006-2014 including forecasts

pptx Download Donors' Briefing September 2014

The third Peacebuilding Fund Advisory Group holds its last meeting on 7 and 8 October 2014. Nominated in 2012, the Group has accompanied the Peacebuilding Fund for three years, meeting twice a year and focusing on four strategic priorities for the Fund: (i) strengthening the Fund’s strategic positioning; (ii) improving the monitoring and evaluation of the Fund; (iii) increasing its cooperation with international financial institutions; and (4) strengthening the gender dimension in PBF’s work.

The Advisory Group has submitted its Summary Report to the Secretary-General (click here to view). In presenting the Report to the Secretary-General, the Advisory Group Chair, Ambassador Jan Knutsson of Sweden, highlighted that the Peacebuilding Fund has proven to be a unique instrument with a strong track record of providing flexible and timely support to address key peacebuilding issues in settings where other funding was not readily available. The Advisory Group has seen a number of improvements over the past three years, including in the Fund’s monitoring and evaluation, partnerships with other organisations and gender-responsiveness. In going forward, the Fund will need to continue to push for greater country level UN ownership, leadership and coherence as well as for broader inclusivity of the national partners. The Fund will also need to continue to seek innovative ways of strengthening gender responsiveness of its interventions.

Overall, however, in the words of Dr Cedric de Coning, Advisory Group representative from South Africa: “The Peacebuilding Fund serves as the example to the rest of the UN peacebuilding architecture on what can be achieved with limited but well targeted funds in challenging peacebuilding settings.”

The third Peacebuilding Fund Advisory Group presents its final report on the Fund to the UN Secretary-General on 7 October 2014

The third Peacebuilding Fund Advisory Group presents its final report on the Fund to the UN Secretary-General on 7 October 2014

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