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UN marks 15 years of the Central Emergency Response Fund

09 Mar 2021

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Childcare workers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo care for babies in the Katwa Child Care Centre, in Butembo, North Kivu, whose parents are receiving treatment for Ebola (2019). The centre has received support from UNICEF and its partners through CERF. © UN Photo/Perret

This month of March marks 15 years since the United Nations launched the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which is a cornerstone in the UN’s humanitarian response to global crises, ensuring we solidarity with people during their time of greatest need.

CERF enables humanitarian organizations to kick-start urgent aid operations worldwide within hours of a natural disaster, and to reach people in crises not receiving the attention and funding they need. Its creation represented a breakthrough in fast and predictable funding for immediate response to a crisis.

Since it was launched in 2006, CERF has allocated US$7 billion to help millions of people in 100 countries get critical life-saving assistance.

In 2020 alone, CERF helped bring food assistance to more than 7 million people and ensured that 5.5 million women and girls were protected in natural disasters, among many other crises.

CERF flexibility and speed has made it an essential component of the UN’s humanitarian response. CERF resources are not earmarked for specific countries or crises, so they can be deployed quickly, wherever needs are greatest.

CERF 15 Years animation Click to view animation
 

CERF allocates funds on the basis of need alone, and provides strategic support for underfunded crises that have failed to attract sufficient resources, allowing UN and humanitarian partners to sustain emergency aid operations. Every year, CERF has helped feed some 10 million people, provided nearly 8 million people with water and sanitation, and reached more than 20 million people with critical health services.

UN partners rely on CERF to support operations in protracted humanitarian emergencies, such as those in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and the region, and Yemen.

The UN thanks all the donors and Member States that have generously contributed unearmarked funding to CERF over the years, as well as the partners that have worked together to deliver humanitarian relief and protection.