On 16 July, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, announced the allocation of some US$75 million for humanitarian work in neglected crises in thirteen countries around the world. These new allocations bring the total amount provided through the Underfunded Emergencies window of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to an unprecedented $175 million in a single year.
These allocations will support vital humanitarian aid in a range of crises from hidden emergencies like ongoing conflict in Central Mindanao in the Philippines to well-known operations with critical funding gaps like Niger.
The largest allocation of $20 million will provide life-saving services people affected by insecurity, displacement and drought in Somalia. Although the humanitarian situation has improved in 2013, the Somalia crisis remains one of the largest and most complex in the world. One million people still require aid to meet their basic needs, and 1.7 million people who recently emerged from crisis could fall back without sustained support.
Humanitarian partners working in communities affected by ongoing insecurity and displacement in north-western Pakistan will benefit from an injection of $10 million. Aid agencies in the Sahel countries of Chad and Niger will each receive $8 million and Mauritania will receive $4 million. Enduring humanitarian needs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Madagascar will be targeted with allocations of $6 million and $3 million, respectively. Humanitarian actors working in longstanding conflicts in Colombia, Myanmar, Djibouti and the Philippines will receive $3.5 million, $3 million, $3 million and $3 million respectively. In Cox’s Bazar District of Bangladesh, aid agencies will benefit from an injection of $2 million to assist to highly vulnerable people displaced from Myanmar. The smallest allocation of $1.5 million will enable health teams to fill an urgent gap and expand emergency cholera treatment in the most at-risk areas of Haiti.
As mandated by the General Assembly, a third of all CERF funds are set aside each year for underfunded emergencies to help even out the disparities between appeals. Since 2006, nearly a third of the $3 billion allocated from CERF has gone to neglected crises in more than 40 countries.
CERF is funded by voluntary contributions from UN Member States, NGOs, local governments, the private sector and individual donors. For 2013, donors have so far pledged more than $420 million in support of the Fund, bringing the total amount contributed to CERF since March 2006 to more than $3.2 billion.