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CERF Newsletter Oct 2008

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CERF GIVES OVER $1 BILLION TO HELP THE MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has now allocated more than one billion dollars for humanitarian aid around the world since it was launched in March 2006. An allocation on 13 October 2008 of $202,714 for nutrition and supplementary feeding for women and children in Tajikistan, which is suffering from chronic food insecurity made worse by a poor harvest and soaring food prices, took the total allocations beyond the one billion dollar level.

"As recently as two years ago, humanitarian agencies faced with a sudden onset crisis such as an earthquake or cyclone struggled to find resources to start life-saving operations," said John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. "CERF can now allocate funds within days of an emergency or a disaster to kick-start relief efforts saving thousands of lives," added Mr. Holmes, who manages the Fund on behalf of the Secretary-General.

CERF has allocated more than $674.9 million altogether since it was launched to respond to rapid onset disasters. So far this year, $265.7 million was allocated to such emergencies, including the global food crisis. From its underfunded window, the Fund has committed more than $325.2 million for the same time period to humanitarian agencies working in 33 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Zimbabwe, which did not have adequately funded programmes.

More than $94 million allocated to alleviate food crisis in 25 countries

Given the magnitude of the global food crisis and the sharp increase in demand for funds from CERF, the ERC set aside a reserve of $100 million in May 2008 from existing resources for essential humanitarian projects related to this food crisis. The ERC has already committed $94 million to 25 countries to help the most vulnerable people affected by the unprecedented emergency. The top three recipient countries are Ethiopia (22 percent), Afghanistan (9 percent) and Djibouti (8 percent).

CERF funding update

In September, no new pledges or contributions were received. Taking into account exchange rate fluctuations, total pledges and paid contributions in 2008 come to $431,971,280. CERF is about $18 million short of the $450 million target set by General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/134 for the grant element.

CERF Pledges and Contributions
Top ten contributors, 2008 (1)
Contributor
Amount
United Kingdom
$80,239,000
Netherlands
$63,900,000
Sweden
$56,264,400
Norway
$55,258,765
Canada
$39,037,523
Ireland
$33,301,074
Spain
$30,915,984
Germany
$14,790,000
Denmark
$9,931,473
Australia
$9,571,000

(1) As at 16 October 2008

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.