Sweden commits to boost UN emergency fund with $23 million

The Government of Sweden today announced their commitment to provide an additional contribution of 200 million kroner (approximately US$23.4 million) to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2016, subject to parliamentary approval, to support the world's most vulnerable children, women and men.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, currently on official visit to Stockholm, expressed the UN's appreciation for the strong financial and political support of the Government of Sweden to CERF, including of its support to the UN Secretary-General's initiative to double the CERF to US$1 billion by 2018. Noting that the top ten donors of CERF provide 87 per cent of the funding, he called on other Member States to contribute in solidarity with the CERF.

"Yesterday the CERF faced a funding shortfall of $50 million. With the incredibly generous additional pledge from Sweden, we have cut that shortfall in half. We are now well on the way to meet the funding target of $450 million in 2016 which will allow us to effectively and promptly address the urgent lifesaving needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable people,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien. “The countdown has started to fill the remaining gap. We hope that other countries will come to the UN General Assembly with new pledges, so we can meet if not surpass the target“.

The General Assembly established CERF in 2005 and on average each year, the global emergency fund helps humanitarian partners deliver critical healthcare to more than 20 million people; food assistance to 10 million people; water and sanitation to 8 million people; livelihood support to 5 million people; protection to 4 million people; and shelter to 1 million people. CERF also finances services for refugees and migrants, nutrition programmes, mine action, emergency education and camp management.

The UN Secretary-General will host a high-level conference on CERF to secure pledges for 2017 on 13 December 2016 in New York.

CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to support rapid humanitarian response. Donors preposition funds with CERF so that money is available to start or continue urgent relief work at the onset of emergencies and for crises that have not attracted sufficient funding. Since 2006, 126 UN Member States and observers, as well as several private sector donors and regional governments have supported the Fund. Over the past 10 years, CERF has allocated almost $4.5 billion for humanitarian operations in 98 countries and territories. Recently Iraq became the 126th donor to CERF and we look forward to including more Member States as supporters and advocates of CERF.