Central Emergency Response Fund and Country Based Pooled funds Member States Briefing

General Assembly Hall

Thank you for attending this meeting, which is an update for member states on the latest on the Central Emergency Response Fund, as at the end of the first quarter of 2010. I would also like to provide a brief overview of country based pooled funds, which work in tandem with the CERF in many cases.

I would like to provide a general overview of what the Fund has achieved since I last provided a briefing to Member States in New York in December, funding levels; the impact of the fund on emergencies in the first quarter of 2010, and what we are doing to ensure the continuous and successful growth of the Fund.

I will also touch upon the management of the Fund, and finally, lay out some of the Risks and Challenges that face the Fund, and how we intend to manage them.

Let me begin by briefing you on the use of the Fund since last we met, particularly on the final totals from 2009 and our busiest ever first quarter of 2010. I will highlight some key issues and trends that have emerged, and give some examples of particularly significant allocations.

In 2009, for the first time, the funds allocated were almost equal to the funds raised for the year. The Fund received $399 million in pledges, and allocated some $397 million. While both numbers were lower than in 2008, the drop-off in pledges, as we have discussed, can be attributed almost entirely to unfavourable currency exchange rates. The total amount approved decreased by $31 million in 2009 from 2008, reflecting a dramatic decrease in the amount of funding requested by UN agencies, no doubt the reflection of the exceptional needs in 2008 for the global food crisis.

A total of 51 countries benefited from CERF funding in 2009. Agencies working in Somalia received some $60.5 million, the most any one country has ever received in a single year, reflecting the continuing very difficult situation. Regionally, the Horn of Africa received 34 percent of total funding, followed by Central Africa at 14 percent, while Southern Africa and South Asia each received 10 percent of all funding. Also for the first time, the Philippines appeared in the top ten of recipient countries as agencies responded to humanitarian needs induced by unrest in Mindanao and tropical storms in the autumn.

The CERF was the largest single source of funding for the 2009 Flash Appeals. It provided $26 million to six appeals covering 12 percent of their requirements, and 27 percent of the funding actually received. UN Country Teams in Burkina Faso, Namibia, El Salvador and Lao benefited the most from CERF funding; in these countries the CERF grants comprised more than half of the overall funding towards Flash Appeals. The timing of CERF funding for Flash Appeals also boosted their effectiveness. CERF funds were provided to UN Country Teams in

Namibia, Philippines, El Salvador and Laos immediately following the onset of the emergency, and were therefore crucial for the implementation of early response activities, as they should be.

So far this year, CERF has contributed to six of the thirteen 2010 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) appeals. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), CERF's contribution to the CAP represents 35 percent of the total funding received in 2010. CERF's contribution to the 2010 Yemen Appeal represents 15 percent of total funding received.

Overall, there are signs that we may face a difficult year for humanitarian funding, post Haiti. Judicious use of CERF to fill the gaps will be therefore particularly important.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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