Sweden's support for the emergency situation in Haiti now amounts to SEK 180 million. In addition, Sweden will disburse its entire annual contribution of SEK 425 million to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The Fund is in urgent need of resources after being nearly emptied as a result of the Haiti disaster. This was announced by Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson today at the extra meeting of EU development ministers in Brussels.
"We would like to express our deep sympathy for the hard-hit people of Haiti. We are also making a rapid response to the UN's appeal for help for the tremendous humanitarian disaster in Haiti, and have contributed SEK 180 million so far," says Ms Carlsson. "Efforts are now focusing on ensuring that the emergency assistance really reaches those in need. At the same time, the more long-term contributions must be woven into the planning process to ensure reconstruction once the urgent humanitarian phase is over."
Following the earthquake disaster in Haiti, the UN has appealed to its Member States for early payment of pledged contributions in 2010 to CERF, which is administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and can provide immediate financing for urgent humanitarian operations. Sweden therefore decided today to make immediate payment of its entire annual contribution, amounting to SEK 425 million. Sweden is the second largest donor to CERF, accounting for approximately 15 per cent of donor funding. Sweden has also responded to an appeal from the World Food Programme by contributing SEK 21.5 million to the organisation's efforts in Haiti.
At the extra meeting of EU development ministers today, the ministers agreed on the need for continued coordination within the EU and with respect to other countries. The UN received strong support for its coordinating role in the response to the disaster. Together, the EU pledged around EUR 122 million in emergency humanitarian support. Sweden is the second largest bilateral donor in the EU.
In addition to CERF, OCHA has issued a flash appeal for support of USD 575 million for urgent relief operations in Haiti following the earthquake. Sida has set aside SEK 100 million for the appeal towards the work of various organisations responding to the emergency situation.