Public Health Crisis Response NOFO

Men on Rescue Boats

CDC released the first Public Health Crisis Response notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) (CDC-RFA-TP18-1802) on October 11, 2017, to enhance the nation’s ability to rapidly respond to public health emergencies. The NOFO increases the speed at which CDC can award funds to state, local, tribal, and territorial public health agencies in the event of a public health emergency through the establishment of an “approved but unfunded” (ABU) list of response funding recipients. Previous emergency experience has demonstrated the impact that initial funding and immediate response can have in mitigating negative health outcomes.

CDC establishes the ABU list from the eligible health departments with pre-existing emergency management programs that submit timely and responsive applications. The crisis response NOFO is not a capacity-building funding mechanism that can be used to create or establish new public health emergency management programs.

Eligible Applicants

  • 50 states;
  • Five U.S. territories and three freely associated states in the Pacific;
  • Six localities: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles County, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.; and
  • Federally recognized tribal governments that meet the NOFO requirements and serve, through their own public health infrastructures, at least 50,000 people.

2018 ABU List and Crisis Response Funding

CDC finalized the crisis response cooperative agreement’s first ABU list in February 2018 following an objective review process. CDC’s Office of Grants Services deemed the 64 jurisdictions that applied to be eligible for ABU list. The 64 jurisdictions included the 50 states, six large metropolitan areas, and eight U.S. territories and freely associated states. No tribal entities applied.

CDC activates this funding mechanism when it makes a determination that a public health emergency has occurred or is imminent and funding is available. CDC determines which health departments on the ABU list need to be funded, which could include all of them or only a subset. CDC considers factors such as the nature of the specific emergency, disease burden (if appropriate), geographic location, health impact, and national priorities, among other factors.

CDC used this ABU list to award nearly $71 million in supplemental funds in 2018 to nine jurisdictions for response, recovery, preparation, mitigation, and other expenses directly related to the consequences of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

CDC also used the ABU list in 2018 to award supplemental funding made available through the Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated Appropriation Act and Accompanying Report to address the opioid overdose epidemic and scale up prevention activities across the United States. CDC awarded $155 million to 50 states and four U.S. territories to fight the opioid overdose epidemic. The funding is intended to advance the understanding of the opioid overdose epidemic and to scale up prevention and response activities to make an immediate impact and save lives.

CDC’s Division of State and Local Readiness (DSLR) manages the initial response component. Longer-term, crisis-specific response activities are supported by various CDC programs. The DSLR Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement Coordination Team serves as project officers for awards funded through the NOFO. They can be reached at

2019 ABU List and Crisis Response Funding

In October 2018, CDC released an updated crisis response NOFO. Overall, the FY 2019 NOFO requirements did not change substantially from the original posting in FY 2018. CDC primarily added new content to clarify FY 2018 requirements.

Eligible applicants included the current 64 jurisdictions on the 2018 ABU list as well as new applicants. In addition to the 64 jurisdictions that renewed their applications, two new tribal entities applied.

In February 2019, CDC finalized its 2019 list of ABU jurisdictions. They included the 64 existing ABU jurisdictions and one tribal entity, the Cherokee Nation.

In February 2020, CDC extended the expiration date of the 2019 ABU list from August 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021.

In October 2020, CDC again extended the expiration date of the 2019 ABU list from January 31, 2021, to January 31, 2022.

CDC used this ABU list to award funding to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. CDC has awarded nearly $730 million in funding under Components A and B of the cooperative agreement to the 65 eligible jurisdictions that are on the approved but unfunded (ABU) list for CDC-RFA-TP18-1802 to provide resources to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. This funding is intended for state, local, territorial, and tribal health departments to carry out surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, infection control, mitigation, communications, and other preparedness and response activities.

CDC has awarded this funding in two phases:

  • March 16: $569,822,380 was awarded to 65 jurisdictions. CDC awarded this critical funding in just 10 days, well within the 30-day window required by the supplemental appropriation.
  • April 6: $160 million was awarded to 34 jurisdictions. This includes 27 jurisdictions with high COVID-19 case counts or evidence of rapidly accelerating case counts and seven U.S. territories and freely associated states with unique COVID-19 response challenges.

In addition, CDC redirected agency funds to initially award $25 million on March 5 to 21 jurisdictions for COVID-19 response activities.

For more information on the COVID-19 supplemental funding and the activities supported by these resources, please see the COVID-19 Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement – Components A and B Supplemental Funding Interim Guidance

Crisis NOFO Fast Facts, October 9, 2018

CDC Crisis Response Cooperative Agreement: COVID-19 Public Health Workforce Supplemental Funding Guidance, May 27, 2021

Previous Funding Opportunities