CERF overview 2009 underfunded round 1

During the first underfunded emergencies (UFE) round in 2009, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated US$75 million to 14 countries. In accordance with Secretary-General's Bulletin (ST/SGB/2006/10), the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), in close consultation with the participating agencies, is responsible for setting priorities for the use of the CERF UFE window and for selecting the countries to receive allocations.

Country Selection (Phase I) and Allocation of Country Envelopes (Phase II)

Taking into account agencies' recommendations of non-CAP countries as well as the level of funding for CAP countries in 2008, the ERC decided to select five CAP countries and nine non-CAP countries.

The countries receiving the largest allocations were DPRK, Ethiopia, Somalia and Zimbabwe; followed by Colombia, Haiti and Yemen (See Box 1 for details).

Submission of Grant Requests and Approval (Phase III)


Following an in-country priorization of sectors and projects, RC/HCs submitted grant request packages within the scope of each allocated UFE envelope. The largest recipient agencies of ERC-approved grants were WFP, UNICEF, FAO and UNHCR (See Box 2).


The sectors receiving the largest share of grants were food; health-nutrition; health; and agriculture (See Box 3).

Project size

The average approved project amount was approximately $ 800,000.

Approval rate

A total of 92 projects were received, most of which,

underwent revision by the field following review by the CERF Secretariat. Of the 92 projects, 88 projects were accepted and four projects rejected due to incompatibility with the CERF Life-Saving Criteria.

Overall approved amount

Following adjustments of project amounts in the review process and rejection of four projects an overall amount of $ 73,275,064 was approved, against a $ 75 million set aside for this UFE round.

Timeliness of approval

The average number of days that passed between the final submissions of a (revised) project to the CERF Secretariat; and final approval by the ERC, was approximately five working days.


Surge support from OCHA Regional Offices, Agencies and/or the CERF Secretariat was deployed to five countries: Zimbabwe (OCHA RO); Djibouti (OCHA RO and FAO); Yemen (UNHCR); Myanmar (OCHA RO); and Haiti (UNICEF and CERF Secretariat). Surge capacity was effective in raising awareness on the CERF application process and in improving the quality of proposals submitted.


Genevieve M. Wills (Programme Officer):
Phone: + (1) 917-367-2722
Fax: + (1) 917 367 3171
Email: wills@un.org

Martin Buettner (Associate Programme Officer):
Phone: + (1) 212 963 0999
Fax: + (1) 917 367 3171
Email: buettnerm@un.org

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