CERF advisory group comes together in New York and discusses future of the fund
On 24 and 25 October 2017, the CERF Advisory Group held its annual meeting in New York to discuss the use and management of the fund and provide guidance on key policy issues.
Chair of the Advisory Group, Leni Stenseth and CERF Chief, Lisa Doughten welcomed the new members to the group: Jamie Isbister, Bruno van der Pluijm, Alexandra MacKenzie, Ricardo Toro Tassara, Rahel Asfaw, Claus Lindroos, Alison Milton, Mairo Mandara and Per Enarsson, and provided an introduction to CERF for new members, noting the essential role of the group in providing advice on the future of CERF.
Doughten then briefed the Advisory Group on the use and management of the fund during the period since its previous meeting in May 2017 and focused particularly on CERF’s response to the Rohingya refugee crises, emergencies related to the El Nino phenomenon, as well as CERF’s responses to Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean.
In his remarks, Assistant Secretary- General for Strategic Coordination in the Secretary-General’s Office, Fabrizio Hochschild, emphasized the essential role of CERF as a life-saving enabler in humanitarian emergency responses highlighted the importance of the Advisory Group appointed by the Secretary-General, articulating the Secretary-General’s support to CERF, especially the expanded target of $1 billion. “CERF needs to grow because humanitarian needs are growing. It is one of the most effective tools to make a difference for people in need.” Hochschild concluded.
In a session with Resident Coordinator (RC) /Humanitarian Coordinators (HC) from Somalia and Barbados/OECS and members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, the RC/HCs provided examples of the use and impact of CERF funds and results achieved with CERF funds in Somalia and Barbados. RC/HC from Somalia, Peter de Clercq expressed appreciation for the $92 million received over the past two years and emphasized the positive effects of the complementarity between the use of CERF funds and funding from the Somalia Country-Based Pooled Fund. Stephen O’Malley, HC in Barbados/OECS acknowledged CERF’s added value to coordination and noted that “receiving funding from CERF allowed for better coordination with UN agencies who were located away from each other.”
In a session headed by Assistant Secretary-General Ursula Mueller, the Advisory Group expressed appreciation for presentations on initial findings from reviews of the added value of the fund for the response to crises caused by the El Nino phenomena. The final session of the meeting on the future of CERF focused on resource mobilization for CERF towards the General Assembly mandated increase of the fund to $1 billion. Mueller closed the session by calling upon Advisory Group members’ advocacy for CERF targeting state leaders and UN principals.
Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, the CERF Advisory Group provides the Secretary-General with periodic policy guidance and expert advice on the use and impact of CERF.
Advisory Group members serve in their individual capacity, and not as representatives of their countries or Governments. They include Government officials from contributing and recipient countries, representatives of humanitarian non-governmental organizations and academic experts. Members have been carefully selected to reflect a geographical and gender balance. More information about the current Advisory Group can be found at: http://www.unocha.org/cerf/about-us/advisory-group