Colombia + 3 more

CERF September Newsletter 2007

Pledges & contributions

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is pleased to acknowledge the receipt of six new contributions totaling $962,522.33 (as of 30 August). The contributions were made by Austria ($401,430), the Bahamas ($50,000), the Czech Republic ($121,353.33), Estonia ($39,739), Indonesia ($100,000) and Poland ($250,000). OCHA encourages all Member States to turn their 2007 pledges into contributions as soon as possible.

$40 million for forgotten crises in 16 countries

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) provided $40 million for life-saving programmes in 16 countries in the second of two annual rounds of allocations for underfunded emergencies in 2007 - including individual grants to Burkina Faso ($1 million); Central African Republic ($2.3 million); Chad ($1 million); Democratic Republic of the Congo ($11 million); Republic of Congo ($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 ($4.7 million).

The countries selected for grants face severe ongoing emergencies and low levels of funding. Ongoing fighting between government forces and rebel groups in North and South Kivu has led to an increase in the number of displaced civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The three Sahel countries - Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger - have experienced many years of food insecurity, which have contributed to major nutrition crises, especially among children. The devastated social services in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) have also taken a particular toll on children, who make up half of the Palestinian population.

Even though the appeals for Chad and Zimbabwe are generally well-funded, specific gaps need to be bridged. Thus, Chad is receiving a $1 million allocation and Zimbabwe a $2 million grant.

One-third of all CERF allocations are earmarked to help redress imbalances in global aid. After four rounds, the total amount granted to so-called neglected or forgotten crises stands at almost $202 million, including $125 million for 2007. The next round will be announced in early 2008.

New feature on the CERF website

A new feature on the website introduces an individual report for each country receiving CERF funding in 2006. Not all the 2006 reports are available right now, but the list will be completed in due course. To download the individual reports, please go to the "What's new" section of the homepage or follow this link.

Country highlights

In August 2007, the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) approved $21.6 million in grants from the CERF's window for rapid response. Details on each allocation can be found below, or on the CERF website at

Colombia - Heavy rains followed by floods and landslides have occurred in Colombia since mid-January, killing 58, with 11 people still missing. The disaster affected almost 550,000 individuals in 28 out of the country's 32 departments. Over 500 houses were destroyed and 12,000 severely damaged.

A grant of over $900,000 is enabling the World Food Programme (WFP) to supply emergency food assistance for 90 days to some 55,000 people. The agency will carry on the government's efforts to supply rice, pulses, vegetable oil and sugar until the affected populations will have recovered their livelihoods.

With an allocation of almost $800,000, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is installing 33 shelter modules built on raised wooden stilts to assist inhabitants of the flooded localities in La Mojana region. The UN Children's Agency (UNICEF) is using a $550,000 grant for a water and sanitation programme benefiting over 27,000 people in villages in Córdoba department. UNICEF is also promoting the consumption of safe drinking water, the adequate disposal of excreta and solid wastes and personal hygiene activities.

Peru - A powerful earthquake struck the country in the early evening of 15 August, devastating hospitals, schools, churches and government buildings in the city of Pisco, and seriously affecting the cities of Chincha, Ica and Canete on the Peruvian Pacific coast. At least 85 percent of the housing in Pisco was damaged according to official estimates; electricity and water services were interrupted, and people were facing food shortages.

With the CERF grant of $9.6 million, the UN country team is providing immediate life-saving aid. IOM is establishing temporary camps for vulnerable persons and assisting the Government with their management. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting activities to rehabilitate key infrastructure by creating emergency employment as well as coordinating the humanitarian response. While WFP is providing emergency food assistance, UNICEF is establishing emergency water and sanitation facilities. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is supporting local primary reproductive health services, while the World Health Organization (WHO) is playing a key part in restoring health services to prevent and monitor the outbreak of diseases. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is strengthening educational activities for 10,000 students during the post-earthquake emergency period, while FAO is providing emergency agricultural support.

Sri Lanka - More than 103,000 returnees in eastern Sri Lanka face a livelihood crisis. As internally displaced persons (IDPs), they have missed two agricultural seasons, leaving them fully dependent on food assistance (mostly provided by the WFP). To avoid the loss of another season, the CERF has allocated $2 million to returnee families.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is providing urgent agriculture support to returning interally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Batticaloa district. The most vulnerable returning families are receiving seeds and fertilizers as well as a minimal set of simple tools to re-establish agricultural production and self-sufficiency. For its part, UNDP is supplying agricultural tools and replacing irrigation pumps to restart rice production. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is providing protection and shelter to IDPs. The shelter programme is targeting 86,000 IDPs from the 2006/2007 conflict.

Sudan - Torrential rains have devastated various parts of the country since early July, destroying over 30,000 homes and leaving at least 150,000 people without shelter. So far, the United Nations and its partners have supplied aid to at least 500,000 flood-affected individuals. To support the ongoing humanitarian response, the CERF has allocated $8.7 million to 11 projects managed by Janet Puhalovic/OCHA/NY, five UN agencies (FAO, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP and WHO). Of the allocation, $4.5 million are being used to provide medicine and health care and to support epidemic surveillance in order to avert water-borne diseases. An additional $2 million will help ensure that over one million people will have clean water or water purification products. A $1.5 million grant is enabling the United Nations to supply non-food items and emergency shelter to families who lost their homes or essential household goods. Finally, $700,000 have been earmarked to provide food aid to those most in need and to ensure the survival of livestock and the replacement of lost crops.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Rudolph Muller (CERF Secretarist):;
Ms. Shoko Arakaki (Donor and External Relation Section):


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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