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European Commission




In Multi-Donor Actions, ECHO systematically checks the costs incurred by the UN Organisation against the eligibility rules. Nevertheless, by virtue of the notional approach, which still applies under the 2014 General Conditions, when assessing the eligibility of costs under Multi-Donor Actions, it is sufficient for ECHO to ascertain that the level of eligible expenditure under EC rules is at least equal to the amount of ECHO’s contribution specified in the Delegation Agreement, and that the amount contributed by other donors is sufficient to pay for those aspects of a larger Multi-Donor Action which, for whatever reason, cannot be funded by ECHO.

This application of the notional approach is a direct result of the fact that when contributing to Multi-Donor Actions ECHO, in compliance with the FAFA and the General Conditions of 2014, does not require any financial ear-marking. This means that the funds contributed by the different sources (at least 2) are pooled into the Multi-Donor Action and there is no earmarking of budgetary items to any specific source of funds.

Article 2.4 of the 2014 General Conditions explains which results of a Multi-Donor Action should be included in the Single Form's Log-Frame and which should not. The aim of this is not to introduce financial ear-marking but simply to avoid any confusion as to what the Partner is committing itself to produce in terms of results towards ECHO.
There can be situations when the Single Form (but not the Log-Frame) includes elements which do not fit within ECHO's funding strategy, policies or legal framework, but are relevant or important for the understanding of the larger context in which the ECHO-UN Action is set. Such “ineligible items” have no impact on the amount of the ECHO contribution where the ECHO eligibility requirements are met as long as the amount contributed by other donors is sufficient to cover the costs which are ineligible under ECHO rules.

The final payment in Multi-Donor Actions covers the remaining 20% of the ECHO contribution compared to the 80% pre-financing already made, unless the level of eligible expenditure does not justify so, or unless there are grounds to reduce ECHO's contribution (see ECHO-UN Guidelines, June 2012 which are still valid in this respect).