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United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 2012 Annual Report

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2012 was a record year for CERF as we received more requests for funding than ever. CERF responded and dispersed US$485 million to 546 projects in 49 countries and territories – the highest amount since its inception. Whilst the countries of the United Nations and other partners showed great generosity, the level of funding required from CERF in 2012 shows that crises worldwide continue to proliferate. Since CERF’s inception, 125 General Assembly members, regional governments and observers, private donors and the public have trusted us to allocate and manage a total of $2.8 billion in grants to 87 countries and territories around the world.

I would like to express my great appreciation to the 69 Member States, several corporations, regional governments and dozens of private individuals that invested more than $427 million in CERF in 2012. This is a remarkable show of support and solidarity in tough economic times.

CERF cannot address all needs, but with a relatively small amount of money, it can lay the groundwork that enables quicker and more effective humanitarian responses. CERF provides money for life-saving, humanitarian activities during those critical first days of a disaster, ensuring that emergency operations do not fail due to a lack of funding. CERF funding also helps to improve the coordination of responses. UN agencies have to work together to agree on what is required and where.

The need for CERF funding will be substantial in 2013. Conflicts, violence, floods, earthquakes, droughts, preventable diseases – alone or in combination – will drive millions of people into desperate need in 2013.

Emergency humanitarian operations to help them will cost the world billions of dollars. I appeal to UN Member States, the private sector and individuals to continue supporting CERF so that it can continue to do what it does so well, ensure that critical and timely life-saving assistance gets to those most in need.

Valerie Amos
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
And Emergency Relief Coordinator

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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