CERF Hits Record High Income for 2017 as Donors Pledge Additional Funds for 2018
Dita Anggraeni

CERF Hits Record High Income for 2017 as Donors Pledge Additional Funds for 2018

Claudia Hargarten

On 8 December 2017, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) hosted its annual high-level pledging conference for 2018. 36 donors pledged US$ 383 million to the fund to ensure urgent humanitarian aid reaches people in need whenever and wherever crises hit. CERF also hit 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 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 in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of 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 last year adopted a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the CERF to be increased to $1 billion by 2018.

CERF Hits Record High Income for 2017 as Donors Pledge Additional Funds for 2018
OCHA / Minasi

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 H.E. Mr. Bernard Biando Sango, Ministre de la Solidarite et Actions Humanitaires of Democratic Republic of the Congo; 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, while Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Mongolia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, 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, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK provided additional contributions for 2017 helping CERF to pass the $US 500 million mark. Al Jisr Foundation, represents a significant diversification of the donor base, with a first-time contribution from the generous practice of Zakat charitable giving based in Oman.  This contribution is being made on a multi-year basis.

CERF Hits Record High Income for 2017 as Donors Pledge Additional Funds for 2018
OCHA / Minasi

Established by the United Nations 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 due to the generous and consistent support from its donors.