CERF releases US$ 100 million for people caught up in neglected crises
Eva Sabbagh

CERF releases US$ 100 million for people caught up in neglected crises

Lara Palmisano

Twice a year, the Emergency Relief Coordinator allocates a combined one- third of the annual CERF funds through Underfunded Emergencies (UFE) grants for life-saving activities in protracted or neglected humanitarian crises where funding is low but vulnerability and risk levels are high. By providing grants for these critical operations, CERF helps to address critical needs while highlighting the importance of continued support, particularly additional resources from bilateral donors, and advocating for the most vulnerable people.

On 8 December 2017, during the annual CERF high-level pledging conference for 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the first allocation round to neglected crises in 2018. A total of US$100 million will help people in urgent need of 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, reinforcing the important role CERF plays as a lifeline for people trapped in crises.

With more than 135 million people in need across the globe, the focus of this UFE round is to support critical humanitarian interventions in nine ongoing protracted and neglected crises affected by conflict, displacement, food insecurity and malnutrition. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, an allocation of $28 million will support the response to 4.1 million internally displaced people and conflict affected communities as increased violence has resulted in humanitarian requirements doubling from 2017 to $1.68 billion in 2018.  

CERF releases US$ 100 million for people caught up in neglected crises

Allocations to Uganda and Tanzania ($27 million in total), which host some 1.4 million and 316,000 refugees and asylum seekers, respectively, will focus on assistance to these groups and host communities. Uganda continues to face the impact of people fleeing across the border from conflict in neighboring South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo; while Tanzania is impacted by an influx of populations from the latter two countries.

Cameroon will receive $10 million as it is facing a triple humanitarian crisis caused by the escalation of the conflict in the Central African Republic, Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad Basin and high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. Humanitarian needs will continue to grow in 2018: about 3.3 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection, an increase of 14 per cent compared to 2017.

CERF will also allocate a total of $13 million to Mali and the Philippines to strengthen relief efforts in response to internal conflicts. In Mali, insecurity and conflict has spread from the north to the center leaving an estimated 3.8 million people in need of urgent life-saving help. In the Philippines, armed conflict in Marawi City displaced an estimated 350,000 people, the majority of whom remain at evacuation centres or with host communities as basic services have not been restored.

Eritrea and Haiti continue to face substantial food insecurity and malnutrition needs as well as other vulnerabilities.  In Eritrea, drought induced food insecurity, malnutrition, disease outbreaks and multi-sectoral support to refugees are the main humanitarian priorities as the country remains chronically underfunded. Haiti received below average funding in 2017 while humanitarian requirements in 2018 will increase by 51% due to continued efforts at cholera prevention, the residual impact of hurricanes of this year, food insecurity and malnutrition. CERF allocates a total of $14 million to both countries.

CERF releases US$ 100 million for people caught up in neglected crises
UNCERF/Dita Anggraeni

In Pakistan, more than five million people have been internally displaced from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas due to insecurity and military operations against non-state armed groups since 2008. While almost one-third of this population has returned, sufficient funding is critical to meet the survival needs of returnees. CERF will allocate $8 million to humanitarian operations in Pakistan.

Through the CERF UFE window, the ERC allocates financial support for life-saving activities in the least funded and forgotten humanitarian emergencies twice a year. Countries with salient humanitarian needs are eligible for UFE support. The ERC’s country selection is based on quantitative data analysis on funding and humanitarian needs, risk and vulnerability, and qualitative, contextual information collected from consultations with UN agency and OCHA headquarters, NGOs and other public source documents. UFE grants support essential humanitarian activities, and partners are expected to simultaneously seek other resources to complement the CERF funding.

For more information, visit CERF’s website on underfunded emergencies here