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UN aid grant fund grants $130 million in the first three months of 2007

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(New York: 3 April 2007): From getting food, clothing and shelter to flood survivors in Southern Africa and South America, to ensuring security for ongoing operations in Sri Lanka and Somalia, to providing urgently need vaccines and medicines for outbreaks of cholera and meningitis in West Africa, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has funded some $130 million in life-saving aid activities in the first three months of 2007.

The largest recipient of rapid response funding from the CERF during this period was Mozambique, where $10.8 million has been made available to United Nations agencies supporting the Government in responding to the dual emergency of severe flooding in the Zambezi River Valley and the destruction caused by tropical cyclone Favio in the country's southcentral districts. In terms of support for underfunded crises, the largest recipient country remains the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has received some $31 million in funding in the first quarter of 2007 alone. Overall, approximately half of the $130 million has gone to fund projects in two sectors, food and health, in 37 countries.

In total, as of the end of the first quarter, the CERF has allocated over $389.2 million to 468 projects in 41 countries since its establishment in March 2006. Some $237 million was disbursed from the rapid response facility for new and/or rapidly deteriorating emergencies in 31 countries, including Afghanistan, Angola, Bolivia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria and Timor-Leste, as well as in the occupied Palestinian territory. An additional $152 million was distributed to underfunded operations in 24 countries, including Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guinea, Haiti, Kenya, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Somalia, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, by 31 March 2007, 72 donors, including 69 Member States, Japan's Hyogo Prefecture, Disaster Resource Network (an initiative of the World Economic Forum), and the non-governmental organization (NGO) Humanity First had pledged nearly $642 million to the CERF since its official launch. Member State donors include Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. The United Nations expects to reach the CERF target of $500 million by 2008.

Approved by the General Assembly in December 2005, the CERF aims to save lives by providing quick initial funding for life-saving assistance and rapid response in sudden onset, rapidly deteriorating, and underfunded emergencies. It is used to help redress the existing imbalance in global aid distribution, as a result of which millions of people in so-called neglected or forgotten crises remain in need, while others benefit from better-funded programmes. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator manages the Fund on behalf of the Secretary-General.

The CERF Advisory Group, which provides periodic policy guidance and expert advice on the use and impact of the CERF, will hold its third meeting from 23 to 24 May in New York. Marika Fahlen (Sweden) is chairing the work of its twelve members, who serve in their individual, expert capacities. Moazzam Malik of the United Kingdom has replaced Michael Mosselmans, also from the UK. Another chair remains vacant following the departure of Elisabeth Kraakaas Rasmusson (Norway).

For further information, please call:

Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Romain Kohn, OCHA-NY, +1 917 367 2449; 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.reliefweb.int.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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