UN humanitarian aid fund grants $201 million in the first half of 2007
Since the start of 2007, the CERF has committed $115.7 million for rapid response in new and/or rapidly deteriorating emergencies in 31 countries, including Afghanistan, Angola, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Chad, Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, as well as in the occupied Palestinian territory. An additional $84.9 million was distributed to underfunded operations in 15 countries, including Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Namibia, Somalia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Overall, by the second quarter 2007, the CERF has allocated $460 million to 530 projects in 49 countries since its launch in March 2006.
Meanwhile, by 11 July 2007, 77 donors, including 73 member states, Japan's Hyogo Prefecture, Disaster Resource Network (an initiative of the World Economic Forum), and the non-governmental organization (NGO) Humanity First, in addition to individual contributions through the UN Foundation, had pledged $645 million to the CERF since its official launch. Member state donors include Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, 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, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The United Nations expects to reach the annual 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, John Holmes, 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, held 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. During their latest meeting the Advisory Group endorsed several recommendations to further improve and strengthen the capacity of the CERF to save lives and encouraged member states to further strengthen the Fund's capacities in order to reach the 2008 funding target.
For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Dizery Salim, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; 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.