Today, Sweden entered into a new multiyear agreement to support the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). With this support, Sweden is consolidating its position as one of the largest donors to the fund.
"CERF plays an absolutely crucial role in ensuring that fast and effective measures are taken during the early and most critical stages of a humanitarian crisis. This is why it is important that this four-year agreement gives the organisation the right conditions to do its work," says Minister for International Development and Climate Isabella Lövin.
Sweden's agreement with CERF was signed in connection with the visit to Stockholm today by Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). CERF is handled by OCHA.
"As a strong partner in humanitarian policy and a generous financial contributor, Sweden's role is central to meeting the urgent needs of crisis-affected people. This flexible, predictable and long-term contribution will help get life-saving assistance to the people who need it the most," says Mark Lowcock.
"When a humanitarian disaster occurs, relief efforts must begin immediately to save lives. Aid organisations should not have to contact different countries for financing support because this delays the critical relief effort in its most important phase. This is why CERF is invaluable," says Ms Lövin.
Sweden's support to CERF amounts to SEK 695 million this year, and Sweden has been the second largest donor since CERF was established. In line with Sweden's overarching priority to enter into multiyear agreements with the UN's funds, programmes and specialised agencies, a multiyear agreement for CERF has been drawn up for the period 2018–2021. Other humanitarian organisations are the WFP, UNRWA and UNHCR. The total amount covered by the four-year agreement is SEK 2.78 billion.