CERF: Stopping crises from turning into catastrophes, says UN Chief

11 December, 2012
11 December 2012: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel David Gressly at the CERF High-level pledging conference. Credit: OCHA/Paolo Palmero
11 December 2012: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel David Gressly at the CERF High-level pledging conference. Credit: OCHA/Paolo Palmero

More than 40 donors today pledged US$384 million to support the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) next year, contributing to a $9 million increase in pledges from 2012. 

Since its launch in 2006, the CERF, which has an annual funding target of $450 million, has enabled aid to reach millions of people affected by humanitarian emergencies such as natural disasters and other crises in 87 countries and territories.
 
“From flood zones to war zones, the CERF stops crises from turning into catastrophes,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “It is the vaccine that saves a child from yellow fever or his mother from meningitis. It is the blanket that covers a refugee family when temperatures drop below freezing.”
 
Across the world, from Haiti to Central America, Niger to Sudan, Pakistan to the Philippines, millions of people in nearly 50 countries have benefited from the CERF’s distribution of more than $460 million in aid this year alone. More than $110 million was allocated to help address crises including food insecurity, natural disasters, conflict and displacement in eight West African countries across the Sahel region.
 
“The rapid and flexible support offered by the CERF makes it a central pillar of the UN agencies’ humanitarian response,” said UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos. “We are one of the largest supporters of UNICEF, UNHCR, WHO, UNFPA and FAO, and the sixth largest contributor to WFP. The agencies have repeatedly told us that the CERF’s support enhances their ability to respond.” 
 
Eleven Member States announced increases to their 2013 pledges. “Despite difficult economic circumstances, donors continue to support the CERF because the CERF works,” added Ms. Amos. 
 
More than 40 countries are now both contributors to and recipients of funds from the CERF. In the last six years, 126 Member States, together with public and private donors, have contributed more than $2.8 billion to CERF.