In 2011, millions of people in parts of the Horn of Africa faced the worst food-and-nutrition crises in a generation. For the first time in more than two decades, a famine was declared in Somalia. More than 13 million people desperately needed help, but the humanitarian community struggled to meet the massive needs. CERF played a played a major part in the early response to the crisis. It contributed more than US$126 million across the region, including $53 million to Somalia.
Overall in 2011, humanitarian partners in 45 countries used CERF funds. From the Horn, to Central America and Bhutan, CERF’s flexible funding allowed humanitarian partners to reach the most vulnerable people in time.
CERF is already being heavily used in the Sahel. A grant of $6 million to Niger in November 2011 signaled the beginning of CERF’s response to the worsening situation. By April 2012, the Fund had contributed more than $27 million to the region.
2011 marked CERF’s fifth year of existence, and its operations were thoroughly reviewed through an independent evaluation of the Fund’s first five years. It showed that CERF is doing exactly what it should: quickly getting money to those in emergency situations and balancing out funding inequities. The evaluation showed that the CERF secretariat is making sure humanitarian partners get the money they need with minimal bureaucratic delay.
Over the next year, CERF will continue to improve its response to humanitarian disasters. It will work with humanitarian partners to reform the prioritisation of funding requests, take steps to ensure that money is quickly and efficiently passed to NGO implementing partners, and maintain its focus on measuring performance. The CERF secretariat remains committed to transparent reporting and to conducting independent reviews of its key operations.
This report shows how CERF funds contributed to a better humanitarian response in 2011. Donors’ sustained and generous support enabled the Fund to make a difference in the lives of millions of people affected by sudden-onset disasters and forgotten or overlooked crises.
The coming years will require the sustained action of CERF as the humanitarian system transforms its response. Your support will ensure that CERF continues to make a difference.