The UN’s Global Emergency Response Fund Hits Record-High Income for 2017 as Donors Pledge Additional Funds for 2018
(New York, 8 December 2017): Today, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) hosted its annual high-level pledging conference for 2018. Thirty-six donors pledged US$383 million to the Fund to ensure urgent humanitarian aid reaches people in need whenever and wherever crises hit. CERF also reached a record high income of $504 million for 2017 through additional commitments made by donors.
“CERF is a collective achievement that we all can be proud of,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his opening remarks at the conference. “CERF is always the first to come when we have an emergency, and the last to leave when situations are forgotten. A strong United Nations needs a strong CERF”.
Reinforcing the important role CERF plays as a lifeline for people trapped in crises, the Secretary-General announced the allocation of $100 million from the 2017 CERF to nine neglected emergencies where millions of people need urgent humanitarian assistance: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Haiti, Mali, Pakistan, the Philippines, Tanzania and Uganda. “In all these crises, CERF funds will enable UN agencies and their partners to carry out essential life-saving activities, and contribute to longer-term resilience and stability,” the Secretary-General said.
In 2018, the United Nations and partners will require $22.5 billion to meet the needs of 91 million people in 26 countries. Given the ever-increasing scale and intensity of emergencies, a more robust CERF is imperative to address the growing needs of affected people. To that end, Member States adopted a United Nations General Assembly resolution, last year, calling for the CERF to be increased to $1 billion by 2018.
Following the Secretary-General’s remarks, a panel discussed the role of CERF in improving the humanitarian community’s ability to assist people affected by conflict and crises. “CERF is unmatched in its speed, global reach and scale of impact in enabling the humanitarian community to respond to people most in need in crises,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock.
Mr. Lowcock was joined on the panel by Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Refugees of the Republic of Uganda H.E. Mr. Hilary Onek; Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo H.E. Mr. Ignace Gata Mavita Wa Lufuta – on behalf of his country’s Minister of Solidarity and Humanitarian Action H.E. Mr. Bernard Biando Sango; Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund Dr. Natalia Kanem; and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia Mr. Peter de Clercq.
Azerbaijan, Guyana, Iraq, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, UAE were among the donors that announced increased contributions from the previous year.
Meanwhile, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Belgian Government of Flanders pledged their support.
In particular, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK provided additional contributions for 2017, helping CERF to pass the $500 million mark.
Today, the Oman-based Al Jisr Foundation significantly diversified CERF’s donor base by making a first-time contribution through the generous charitable giving practice of zakat. This contribution is being made on a multi-year basis.
Established by the UN General Assembly in 2005 as a global fund ‘by all, for all’, CERF is a critical enabler of effective, timely and life-saving humanitarian action, helping front-line partners on the ground to kick start or reinforce emergency activities. Since its inception, the Fund has assisted hundreds of millions of people with more than $5 billion across 100 countries and territories with the generous and consistent support of its donors.