World

Major donors pledge multi-year support for UN emergency fund

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New York, 15 December 2009): Several major donors have made multi-year commitments to provide significant funding to the Central Emergency Response Fund. Canada has an ongoing, five-year agreement through 2012, while the Netherlands and the United Kingdom renewed multi-year funding arrangements with CERF. Australia also announced a four-year commitment to the Fund, starting with a 2010 pledge of AUD 12 million (US$11.1 million), with annual future increases of AUD 2 million ($1.8 million) through 2013. China, India and Saudi Arabia have already made multi-year funding commitments for the Fund. Poland also announced that it would look into a similar arrangement with CERF starting in 2010.

Last week's pledging conference for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) raised more than $424 million, the highest of any Conference since the disaster relief fund's inception in 2006. The United States rejoined the contributor list with a $10 million pledge, and five new Member States were added to the list of the Fund's supporters. CERF can now count 115 Member States and Observers as supporters, or nearly two-thirds of the General Assembly, the UN's 192-member governing body.

The top ten contributors to CERF since the Fund's inception came through with pledges of more than US$373 million for 2010. This figure represents 88 percent of the total funds raised at the conference. Despite economic difficulties, no major donor decreased its pledge from the previous year. Overall, CERF's top contributors (United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Australia) have pledged or contributed some $1.7 billion of the nearly US$2 billion raised by CERF, or roughly 85 percent of the total.

"The overwhelming generosity of our major donors was clear, despite the hard times of the current economic climate," said John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. "Yet the fact remains that we require increased support from a broader range of donors so that the Fund can be sustained in coming years."

There were positive signs that new contributors will step up for the Fund. With a $2 million pledge, the Russian Federation made the list of CERF's supporters for the first time. Several countries, including Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, increased their pledges over the previous year.

"We are hopeful that emerging donors will come forward with larger, more regular contributions to the Fund," Mr. Holmes noted.

For further information, please call:

OCHA-New York: Stephanie Bunker, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 347 244 2106, bunker@un.org; Nicholas Reader, +1 212 963 4961, mobile +1 646 752 3117, reader@un.org, John Nyaga +1 917 367 9262, +1 917 318 8917, nyagaj@un.org

OCHA-Geneva: Elisabeth Byrs, +41 22 917 2653, mobile +41 79 473 4570, byrs@un.org

OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int

For more information about CERF, please see http://cerf.un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.