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The CERF continued to maintain a solid financial standing during 2005. A total of US$ 36,497,241 was advanced during the year for eight operations that continued to use the CERF, driven primarily by the magnitude of emergencies that require a system-wide response.

In 2005, WHO requested four advances, UNICEF two, UNHCR two, and IOM, UNOG, FAO, DPKO/UNMAS and OCHA/Pakistan one each.

The largest recipient of these advances was Sudan with US$ 21,872,000, which represented 60 percent of the funds requested from the CERF. Five agencies requested funds for Sudan: UNICEF, UNHCR,WHO, DPKO/UNMAS and UNOG.

Burundi, with UNHCR requesting, received US$ 5 million, which represents 14 percent of the funds requested.

Pakistan received US$ 4,195,941, representing 12 percent. Those funds were requested by IOM and OCHA Pakistan.

Chad received US$ 3,621,300, representing 10 percent, with the request from UNICEF.

US$ 1,308,000 went to Niger, requested by FAO and WHO, for a total four percent of the use of the CERF.

DRC received one advance of US$ 500,000, requested by WHO, which represents one percent of the total use of the CERF.

During 2005, UNICEF was the agency which requested the highest volume of funds for a total of US$ 14,893,300 (41 percent). UNHCR requested US$ 10 million (27 percent), WHO US$ 6 million, (16 percent), OCHA Pakistan US$ 3,195,941 (9 percent), IOM US$ 1 million (3 percent), FAO US$ 808,000 (2 percent), UNOG and DPKO/UNMAS US$ 300,000 each (representing less than 1 percent of the total.)

By the end of 2005, US$ 4.61 million (12 percent) had been reimbursed. US$ 15,393,300 (43 percent) is to be paid during the first quarter of 2006 and US$ 16,195,941 (45 percent) is to be paid in the last quarter of 2006.

The Central Emergency Response Fund

The enhanced Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is a stand-by fund established by the United Nations to enable more timely and reliable humanitarian assistance to victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts.

The CERF was approved by consensus by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 December 2005 to achieve the following objectives:
• promote early action and response to reduce loss of life
• enhance response to time-critical requirements
• strengthen core elements of humanitarian response in under funded crises

The CERF will have up to US$ 500 million, including a grant facility of up to US$ 450 million and a loan facility of US$ 50 million. The CERF is funded by voluntary contributions from around the globe from Member States of the United Nations, private businesses, foundations and individuals.

The Fund is managed by the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), on behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General. The Fund allows the UN to react immediately when a disaster strikes by making funding available for life-saving activities to eligible agencies, including the UN and its funds, programmes and specialised agencies, and IOM.

CERF is intended to complement – not to substitute – existing humanitarian funding mechanisms such as the UN Consolidated Appeals. The CERF provides seed funds to jump-start critical operations and fund lifesaving programmes not yet covered by other donors.

The Grant and Loan Facilities

United Nations and its funds, programmes and specialised agencies, as well as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), are eligible for both grants and loans.

The components have a number of distinct features:


  • Up to US$ 450 million, depending on voluntary contributions received
  • Established in December 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly
  • Allows the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) to ensure coverage of life-saving programmes when funds are not available from other sources
  • Used to allocate funds to UN operational agencies to address critical humanitarian needs based on priorities established under the leadership of the RC/HC in the field
  • Each applicant must justify the need for funds, taking into consideration other available resources. If a donor pledge is forthcoming, the loan facility should be used


  • US$ 50 million available
  • Established in 1991 as the Central Emergency Revolving Fund. The Revolving Fund is now managed separately as part of the upgraded Central Emergency Response Fund
  • Used to make loans to UN Agencies for emergency programmes based on indications that donor funding is forthcoming
  • Loans must be reimbursed within six months
  • US$ 337 million was disbursed in loans over the last 14 years
  • Primarily used as a cashflow mechanism, allowing UN Agencies to access funds rapidly while they are waiting for donor pledges to be transferred





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