Afghanistan + 13 more

United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund allocates US$100 million to 14 underfunded crises

(New York: 18 January 2010): The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, John Holmes, today allocated some US$100 million to boost humanitarian response in 14 neglected emergencies around the world, where people are suffering the effects of hunger, malnutrition, disease and conflict.

The funds were made available today from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). They will be granted to United Nations humanitarian agencies, the International Organization for Migration, and to partner organizations, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to support humanitarian projects in the affected countries. These countries were selected to receive CERF grants based on analysis of the funding levels of their aid programmes and the severity of the humanitarian needs.

Humanitarian actors in Ethiopia received the largest single allocation of some $17 million. United Nations agencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo will receive the second-largest amount of approximately $16 million. Agencies working in Afghanistan will receive $11 million, while humanitarian partners in Kenya will receive $10 million to start up programmes for 2010. Programmes in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have been allocated some $8 million, while programmes to assist people in Yemen and Chad received $7 million apiece. In Niger, humanitarians will be granted $6 million, while humanitarian agencies in Myanmar have been allocated some $4 million. Humanitarian actors in Colombia, Eritrea, Haiti and the Philippines will each receive $3 million to bolster their emergency programmes. (Haiti's full funding needs are being re-evaluated in light of the tragic earthquake. Another $25 million was allocated to humanitarian agencies in Haiti last week..) Finally, CERF will allocate $2 million to help the United Nations Country Team in Guinea to address humanitarian needs.

This is the first round of allocations from CERF's window for underfunded emergencies in 2010. The second round will be in July. In 2009, a total of $130 million was allocated to underfunded emergencies. Since 2006, nearly a third of the $1.5 billion allocated from CERF - over $440 million - has gone to chronically neglected crises in almost 50 countries.

CERF is funded by voluntary contributions from Member States, NGOs, local governments, the private sector and individual donors. This year, donors have so far pledged nearly $425 million in support of CERF. As mandated by the General Assembly, CERF commits one third of all funds each year to redress imbalances in global aid distribution by supporting neglected crises.

CERF was established in 2006 to help agencies respond rapidly to new or deteriorating humanitarian situations. Since then, more than 115 Member States and private sector donors have contributed nearly $2 billion to the fund, which is administered by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. CERF has disbursed nearly $1.5 billion to help millions of victims of natural disasters and conflict in more than 70 countries since 2006.

For further information, please call: OCHA-New York: Stephanie Bunker, +1 917 367 75126, mobile +1 347 244 2106,; Nicholas Reader +1 212 963 4961, mobile +1 646 752 3117,; John Nyaga,+ 1 917 367 9262, mobile +1 917 318 8917,; OCHA-Geneva: Elisabeth Byrs,+41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570,

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