US$380 Million Pledged to Central Emergency Relief Fund
5 December 2008: The UN has announced that approximately US$380 million has been pledged
to the voluntarily-funded Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). The CERF was
set up in 2006 to speed relief for natural and man-made disasters.
According to John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, the pledges are an important signal that “international support for international efforts is as strong as ever.” Holmes warned that humanitarian needs are likely to increase in 2009 due to climate change-driven disasters, the global food crisis, continuing and worsening conflicts, as well as the global financial crisis.
Nine States increased their commitments to the Fund, including Spain, which added €10 million to its 2009 pledge of €20 million. Australia, Finland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, the Republic of Korea and Sweden also increased the size of their pledges to the Fund compared to the previous year.
Seven new countries were registered as donors for the CERF, including Afghanistan, Kenya, Myanmar, Oman, Samoa, Saint Lucia and Timor-Leste. Afghanistan, Kenya, Myanmar and Timor-Leste have also been recipients of CERF funding. Two private sector donors, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Western Union, also contributed.
According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, nearly 20% of CERF funds are being used to help people suffering from extreme weather and other disasters caused by climate change. [UN Press Release]