CERF Loans

CERF’s loan mechanism totals US$30 million. It provides money to eligible humanitarian organizations at the beginning of an emergency. Funds help organizations to begin implementing their emergency response activities. These funds are crucial, as organizations may experience delays when receiving donors’ contributions. Since the loan mechanism was created in 1992, as per General Assembly resolution 46/182, it has disbursed approximately $500 million.

Who is eligible?

The UN, specialized agencies, the International Organization for Migration and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs can apply for loans.

When should a loan be considered?

When a humanitarian organization has received a donor’s official commitment, but experiences a delay between the actual commitment and the transfer of funds.

How to Apply

The operational organization should send the following documents to the ERC, with copy to the CERF secretariat at cerf@un.org

  1. A letter on agency letterhead to the ERC, specifying why the loan is needed and how exactly it will be used. The purpose of the loan must specify that it is a response to a humanitarian emergency. Loans must be repaid within one year from the date of disbursement.
  2. A completed LOU - CERF loan LOU template -. Only one agency should be listed as the loan recipient. Note must be taken of clause 7b, which specifies reporting obligations.
  3. A detailed budget - CERF loan budget template and guidance 2013 - for the overall loan amount must be attached using the CERF loan budget template.
  4. Copies of pledge/commitment letters received by the agency which provide evidence that the operational organization will be able to repay the loan.

The ERC is responsible for determining the amount to be advanced in each situation. The decision may be based on:

  • The current amount available in the loan element of the fund;
  • Anticipated needs in the near future for other loan requests; and
  • Documentation that the applicant will be able to repay the loan.

Requests for additional information or clarification should be sent to the CERF secretariat at cerf@un.org.