Data Note: Donor Funding for the Current Ebola Response in the DRC
- The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has required increasing amounts of external support from donors (for more information on the outbreak, see KFF’s explainer). Yet there has been limited information about donor funding to date and a lack of a centralized reporting mechanism for tracking funding.
- This analysis provides an updated overview of donor funding for the DRC Ebola response by source. Highlights include:
- We estimate that from August 2018, when the outbreak began, through early December 2019, approximately $734 million was provided by donors to address Ebola in the DRC.
- More than half (57.8%) was provided by donor governments bilaterally, including the U.S., with a large share (40.1%) provided by multilateral and international organizations and a small proportion (2.2%) provided by non-profits, such as private foundations.
- The U.S. provided the largest amount of support ($252 million), followed by the World Bank ($170 million), the United Kingdom ($78 million), the World Health Organization (WHO) Contingency Fund for Emergencies ($73 million), and the European Union ($52 million).
- About half of funding (49%), including about a fifth of U.S. funding, was provided in direct support of the official DRC response plans, which guide national response strategy and enumerate resource needs. This could have implications for the coordination of donor efforts and whether funding is being directed to the most critical or pressing activities.
- There is also considerable uncertainty about the future of U.S. support since it is unclear how much funding remains available for use in the response, whether the current administration will request additional funds, and whether Congress will provide such funding.
Donor Funding for the DRC Response
Based on analysis of publicly available information, we estimate that donors provided approximately $734 million in overall financial support for the DRC Ebola response from August 2018, when the outbreak began, through early December 2019 (see Table 1). We attributed funding to donor governments for Ebola when designated for this purpose, whether provided bilaterally to the DRC or earmarked for Ebola but provided to a multilateral organization or instrument. We attributed funding to a multilateral organization where that multilateral organization specifically designated general funds for this purpose. Data sources are provided in Table 1.
|Table 1: Donor Funding for the Current Ebola Response in the DRC
(Aug. 2018 – Dec. 11, 2019)
(in US$ millions)
|Australia||0.4||DRC/Partners SRP 3|
|Canada||2.2||DRC/Partners SRP 3; WHO|
|European Union||52.4||European Union|
|United Kingdom||78.4||U.K.; WHO|
|United States||252.4||USAID; WHO|
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)||0.5||WHO|
|U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)||251.9||USAID|
|-Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)||203.0||USAID|
|-Food for Peace (FFP)||37.0||USAID|
|-Bureau for Global Health (GH)||12.0||USAID|
|Multilateral and International Organizations||294.0|
|African Development Bank||1.0||WHO|
|Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance||26.5||Gavi; WHO|
|UNICEF||0.3||DRC/Partners SRP 2|
|U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||12.6||U.N. CERF|
|U.N. OCHA/DRC Humanitarian Fund||10.0||Humanitarian Fund|
|WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE)||73.1||WHO/CFE|
|World Bank||170.0||World Bank; WHO|
|Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility||50.0||World Bank; WHO|
|International Development Association||120.0||World Bank; WHO|
|World Food Programme (WFP)||0.5||DRC/Partners SRP 3|
|Non-Profits and Others||15.9|
|Paul Allen Foundation||0.7*||WHO; KFF personal communication|
|Susan T. Buffett Foundation||5.0||WHO|
|NOTES: Based on publicly-available information as of Dec. 11, 2019. * Reflects funding through Oct. 2019. May not sum to subtotal/total due to rounding. Does not include funding provided by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government itself. OCHA amounts include commitments and paid contributions, not pledges and in-kind contributions. U.N.: United Nations. UNICEF: U.N. Children’s Fund. OCHA: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.|
More than half (57.8%) of this funding was provided by donor governments bilaterally, including the U.S., with large share (40.1%) provided by multilateral and international organizations, such as the World Bank, and a small proportion (2.2%) provided by non-profits, such as private foundations.
The U.S. government was the largest donor, having provided $252.4 million for activities within the DRC (see Figure 1 and Box 1), followed by the World Bank ($170 million), the United Kingdom ($78.4 million), the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies ($73.1 million), and the European Union ($52.4 million).
|Box 1: Key Sources of U.S. Funding for the DRC Ebola Response|
|U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
All of the USAID response funds to date have been drawn from unspent FY 2015 emergency Ebola supplemental appropriations, originally provided by Congress in December 2015. These funds, from USAID’s International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account, were designated for “assistance for countries affected by, or at risk of being affected by,” Ebola.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Although CDC has yet to publicly announce the amount of funding it has provided for the outbreak response in the DRC over the past year ($0.5 million is reported by WHO as having been contributed by the CDC), its Ebola response funds from Aug. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019, have been drawn from unspent FY 2015 emergency Ebola supplemental appropriations designated for Ebola international preparedness and response; according to communication with the agency, this funding was expected to be exhausted by the end of FY 2019, when it was due to expire. In recent months, Congress has stated that CDC may use existing funds in the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which was established in FY 2019 with $50 million and could have additional funds added in FY 2020, for CDC Ebola response.
Funding for National Response Plans
The DRC government, U.N. agencies such as WHO, and other partners prepared four DRC national Strategic Response Plans (“the plans”) to guide and enumerate resource needs for the Ebola response (see Table 2). We found that about half (49%, $361 million) of donor funding for the response – including about a fifth (19%, $47.9 million) of U.S. funding – was identified as directly supporting the national plans.
|Table 2: Funding Requested for the DRC Ebola Response Under National Plans
(Aug. 2018 – Dec. 2019)
(in U.S. $ millions)
|Aug. – Oct. 2018||43.8||Strategic Response Plan 1|
|Nov. 2018 – Jan. 2019||61.3||Strategic Response Plan 2|
|Feb. – July 2019||147.9||Strategic Response Plan 3|
|July – Dec. 2019||287.6||Strategic Response Plan 4|
|NOTES: Reflects support for public health response activities; the current plan is complemented by a broader strategy that addresses additional activities related to the response. DRC: Democratic Republic of the Congo.|
Donors met the funding requests in the first two plans and mostly met that of the third plan. As of early December, they have provided at least $148.3 million (via WHO) toward the fourth plan, which requests $287.6 million for public health response activities from July through December 2019.
Authorities in the DRC have also requested an additional $225.6 million for July through December 2019 under a broader strategy that includes other activities, such as economic development, to address social conditions that drive the outbreak. In support of this broader strategy, some donors have pledged more funding. The World Bank, for example, pledged up to an additional $300 million ($70 million of which has already been provided), and the United Kingdom pledged up to an additional $62.6 million, or £50 million ($9.7 million, or £8 million, of this funding has already been provided for preparedness efforts in neighboring countries, and $23.8 million of this funding has already been provided to WHO). More recently, the European Union has pledged an additional $54.7 million (€50 million) in support of the broader response.
Key Issues for the U.S. and Other Stakeholders
Maintaining a robust response to Ebola in the DRC over the next several months, and maybe even longer, will require additional donor funding. As such, there are several issues for the U.S. and other donors to consider:
- Overall, information on donor financing is limited and fragmented. No systematic resource or tool for tracking contributions exists, a situation made more complex because the Ebola response is taking place in the context of a broad set of humanitarian crises with multiple multilateral and bilateral funding mechanisms contributing resources across a spectrum of activities (see KFF explainer). For the U.S. specifically, while some data are available, the full range of funding information has not been provided.
- Coordination of donor funding outside official national response plans is unclear. With about half of donor funding for the response – including about a fifth of U.S. financial support – identifiable as directly supporting the official national response plans, it is not clear whether donor efforts are being coordinated effectively and funding provided for the most critical or pressing activities, including those identified under the official national response plans. With regard to the U.S. specifically, there is limited information about how U.S. funding and efforts are coordinated with U.N. and DRC-led efforts.
- The status of U.S. funding going forward is uncertain. It is unclear how much funding remains available for use in the U.S. response, whether the current administration will request additional funds, and whether Congress will provide such funding. At USAID, it is unclear what funds remain in the leftover FY 2015 emergency Ebola funding being used for response activities. At CDC, all leftover FY 2015 emergency Ebola funding was to be spent out entirely by the end of FY 2019, but the agency may use funds from the emergency reserve fund for its Ebola activities in FY 2020 (see Box 1).