Central Emergency Response Fund Secretariat

The mandate of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Secretariat is to manage the Fund under the overall direction of the Emergency Relief Coordinator. The Secretariat includes a Programme Unit, a Reporting and Information Unit and a Finance Unit.

The original Central Emergency Revolving Fund, with a loan facility of up to US$ 50 million, was established by the
General Assembly in 1991 in Resolution 46/182. In December 2005, the General Assembly upgraded the Fund by including a grant element of up to US$ 450 million (General Assembly Resolution A/60/124). The new CERF, renamed as the Central Emergency Response Fund, was officially launched on 9 March 2006. United Nations Agencies and, through them, their implementing partners can access the Fund within days of a crisis, enabling more lives to be saved and suffering to be alleviated in the earliest moments of a disaster, when people are at greatest risk.

The grant facility of the CERF has two components: ‘rapid response grants’ to promote early action to reduce loss of
life and enhance response to time-critical requirements; and ‘underfunded emergency grants’ to strengthen core
elements of humanitarian response to underfunded crises.

The role of the CERF Secretariat involves: the effective use of human resources and internal procedures; maintenance of
effective partnerships with key stakeholders; achievement of goals as set out in General Assembly Resolution A/60/124;
and the development and improvement of mechanisms to measure effectiveness and efficiency of the CERF.
A key challenge for the CERF Secretariat in 2008 is to ensure that the funding target of US$ 500 million, including the
US$ 50 million for the loan component, as endorsed by the General Assembly Resolution A/61/134 of 14 December
2006, is reached. An output-oriented performance and accountability framework, as well as renewed emphasis on
the creation of a standardized reporting and monitoring framework, will be necessary to promote accountability,
predictability and transparency. (table)

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicator

A predictable and needs-based humanitarian financing system
Outputs Indicators
Outputs: CERF annual target reached. Policy development for humanitarian financing supported. CERF guidelines and policies developed, and approved by the Emergency Relief Coordinator. All CERF grants (rapid response and underfunded) and loan requests expedited. Accountability and transparency of CERF allocations improved. Percentage of funds received by year end. Documents and concept papers developed and implemented. Average number of days between request for CERF funding received by CERF Secretariat and request sent to the Emergency Relief Coordinator for approval. Number and quality of
reports from United Nations Country Teams or Resident Coordinators/ Humanitarian Coordinators (RC s/HC s) and humanitarian agencies disseminated.

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Country-level capacity to develop CERF requests strengthened. Number of CERF surge staff supporting preparation of CERF requests in field.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
RC s/HC s fully informed about the CERF. Number of trainings to RC s/HC s that include CERF modules.

Strengthened information management based on common standards and best practices
Outputs Indicators
Fully functioning centralized information management system established. Percentage of applications, project proposals and allocations, financial and narrative reports, pledges and contributions recorded and archived in the CERF information management system.