UN’s global emergency response fund reaches annual funding goal of $450 million
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock today announced that the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has reached its 2017 funding target of US$450 million, following an additional commitment of SEK 50 million ($6 million) from Sweden.
“I am inspired by the generosity of CERF’s donors. Given the many challenges we face today with 145 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, achieving the target set for 2017 provides a much-needed boost in fulfilling our mission to reach the world’s most vulnerable people with timely assistance,” Lowcock said. “But given the increase in needs brought on by ongoing conflict and natural disasters this year, it is more important than ever that donors enable CERF to reach its 2018 funding target of $1 billion.”
CERF has been at the forefront in responding quickly when crises emerged in 2017 and in providing funds to jump-start the underfunded emergencies. This enabled partners to deliver critical health care, food, clean water, sanitation and much more to people who need it the most, especially women and girls caught up in crises. CERF was among the first to provide funding when more than 20 million people were in or imminently close to famine in north-east Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, helping to stave off the worst. It allocated $145 million to help millions of people caught up in 14 neglected and critically underfunded emergencies around the world, and provided $13 million to enable humanitarians to help tens of thousands of people needing assistance following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean, as well as $19 million for urgent help to refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar.
Recognizing that a larger and more robust CERF is critical to ensuring aid reaches people whenever and wherever they need it the most, the UN General Assembly last year endorsed the expansion of CERF’s annual funding target from the current $450 million to $1 billion by 2018. CERF’s annual high-level pledging event in December 2017 can therefore be an important milestone towards achieving the new funding target.
“For the sake of millions of people who are suffering, I ask all countries to further stretch their generosity. Every contribution helps make Central Emergency Response Fund a fund for all, by all,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “The December pledging conference is our chance to show solidarity and save lives. A strong United Nations needs a strong, reliable CERF to reach people trapped in crises and to meet the needs of those still left furthest behind.”