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Humanitarian Grand Challenge

Today, over 136 million people require humanitarian assistance. Hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people in conflict zones are currently unreachable by traditional humanitarian aid delivery. As the length, frequency and scope of armed conflicts increase, it is progressively more difficult to reach affected people in insecure areas with life-saving and life-improving humanitarian assistance.

The United States Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and Grand Challenges Canada have launched Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge. This challenge seeks to fund and accelerate solutions that enable life-saving or life-improving assistance to reach the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people in conflict-generated humanitarian crises.

Specifically, we seek innovations engage the private sector and involve input from the affected communities in order to provide, supply or locally generate safe water and sanitation, energy, life-saving information, or health supplies and services to help conflict-affected people.

This Request for Proposals will fund approximately 10–15 seed projects at up to $250,000 CAD, along with basic acceleration support, over a maximum period of twenty-four (24) months. To receive seed funding, applicants must demonstrate potential relevance to, or identify potential opportunities for, collaboration with the private sector. By the end of the seed award, innovators who have demonstrated proof of concept of the idea, developed a plan for scale and sustainability, and attracted commitments from key stakeholders and partners may be invited to apply for Transition To Scale program funding.

This Request for Proposals will also fund Transition To Scale innovations of up to $1,000,000 CAD, plus acceleration support, over a maximum of twenty-four (24) months, to refine, test and implement innovative solutions that have achieved proof of concept. Eligible applicants are those who have achieved proof of concept, either after seed funding or during the initial call, and should submit Letters of Intent for the Transition To Scale process. Successful Letters of Intent for transition-to-scale funding must demonstrate engagement, collaboration and/or approaches designed with or by the private sector in its design, evaluation or implementation, and are required to have matching funds (cash/cash equivalent) of at least 25% to satisfy the matching requirements. Private sector actors are often uniquely effective at quickly and cost-efficiently producing or delivering goods or services that cannot be otherwise supplied by traditional forms of humanitarian assistance.

Successful project teams will include both individuals who understand the unique context of conflict-generated crises, and those who are capable of developing, testing, refining and transitioning to scale their innovation to produce transformative impact for people in conflict-generated crises.

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