United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund gives $40 million to underfunded crises

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 01 Aug 2007
(New York: 1 August 2007) The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator announced today that $40 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will be used for life-saving programmes in 16 countries in the second of two annual rounds of allocations for underfunded emergencies in 2007.

"These grants will provide vital funding for people caught up in some of the world's most neglected humanitarian crises. By filling gaps in the international response we aim to ensure that assistance will reach those most in need," said John Holmes, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and manager of the CERF.

In the fourth round of funding to underfunded emergencies since the launch of the CERF in March 2006, individual allocations have been made to the following countries: Burkina Faso $1 million; Central African Republic $2.3 million; Chad $1 million; Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) $11 million; Republic of Congo (ROC) $1.1 million; Côte d'Ivoire $2.5 million; Eritrea $1 million; Ethiopia $3 million; Haiti $1.4 million; Kenya $3 million; Liberia $1.5 million; Mauritania $1 million; Myanmar $1.5 million; Niger $2 million; Zimbabwe $2 million; and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) $4.7 million.

Countries selected were based on funding information captured by the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), recommendations from United Nations agencies, data gained from consultations with various stakeholders and a variety of other sources.

The countries selected for grants face severe ongoing emergencies. Against a backdrop of protracted humanitarian needs and low levels of funding, the continuation of unrest in North and South Kivu has led to an increase of displaced civilians in the DRC. The three Sahel countries selected for CERF funding have experienced many years of food insecurity that have led to major nutrition crises, which have affected children the most. CERF funds will also improve the response to the crisis affecting the oPt, which has devastated social services and taken a particular toll on children, who make up half of the Palestinian population.

Two countries with specific underfunded needs in otherwise well-funded appeals were also allocated grants. Chad will receive $1 million and Zimbabwe $2 million for projects in underfunded life-saving sectors, in order to even out gaps in the humanitarian response.

One-third of all funds in the CERF are earmarked for use in underfunded emergencies in order to help redress imbalances in the global aid distribution. Due to these imbalances, millions of people in so-called neglected or forgotten crises remain in need. Today's allocations bring the overall amount provided for underfunded emergencies in 2007 to $125 million. The next round will be announced in early 2008.

The CERF, which is funded by voluntary contributions, was approved by the General Assembly in December 2005 and officially launched on 9 March 2006. Since January 2007, 61 member states, a local government, two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individual donors have committed almost $346 million to the CERF.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679;Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570. OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int.

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