Burkina Faso + 11 more

Countries affected by global food crisis receive extra funding from UN Central Emergency Response Fund

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[New York, 8 August 2008]: The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated an additional $30 million to help alleviate the suffering of millions of people in 12 countries most severely affected by the global food crisis. The allocation will be used to fund humanitarian programmes in three countries in the hardest hit Horn of Africa region - Djibouti, Eritrea and Kenya. Other beneficiary countries are Burkina Faso, Burundi, Lesotho, Madagascar, Niger, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

'Millions of people in these 12 countries are on the margins of survival because of the combination of drought, crop failure, and rising fuel and food prices,' United Nations Under- Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes stated. 'The CERF has been an integral part of the emergency response to the global food crisis.'

The $30 million comes from the $100 million set aside by the CERF to respond to the most immediate life-saving activities in sectors directly linked to the food crisis in priority countries, in particular food aid, food security and agriculture support, health, and nutrition. Some $58 million had already been allocated to food crisis projects under the CERF's regular rapid response window. Prior to this allocation, 10 other countries including Ethiopia and Somalia in the Horn of Africa, had already received funds from CERF for relief operations related to food shortages. Ethiopia received a total of $20 million, and Somalia $6 million.

This means that of the $100 million set aside for the global food crisis, $12 million remains for new emergencies during the rest of the year. Meanwhile the demands, already exceeding the CERF's capacity by a significant margin, are continuing to rise. Most of the response to countries hit by the global food crisis for the rest of 2008 will therefore have to be addressed through bilateral funding from donors, unless the CERF can be significantly replenished in the meantime.

Since it was launched in 2006, CERF has made available almost $900 million for rapid disaster relief, helping UN agencies, funds and programmes to save tens of thousands of lives in 62 countries struggling with disasters, armed conflicts or both.

CERF is funded by voluntary contributions from Member States, non-governmental organizations, local governments, the private sector and individual donors. This year, the donors have pledged nearly $432.2 million of the $450 million target.

For further information, please call:

Dawn Elizabeth Blalock, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 318 8917, John Nyaga, OCHA-New York, + 1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570, Susan Christofides, CERF Secretariat +1 917 367 4252.

OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int.

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