A sudden crisis like an earthquake, cyclone,
war or famine demands an immediate response from the international community.
Those caught up in such a crisis simply
cannot wait for public appeals to be launched and for pledges of support
to become a reality.
At the end of 2005 the General Assembly
of the United Nations (UN) sought to improve its ability to respond to
such crises by creating the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which
aimed to hold a total of $450 million to use in urgent and forgotten crises.
DFID, on behalf of the UK, is the largest