UN chief urges emergency fund support as one of the ‘most effective investments’ in humanitarian action

WFP/Georgina Goodwin An IOM supported piped water supply project in a displaced persons camp in Dolow, Somalia. IOM, WFP and other agencies were able to cover the urgent needs of the displaced people in this camp thanks to the support of UNCERF.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), is “one of the most effective investments you can make in humanitarian action”, Secretary-General, António Guterres told a high-level pledging event at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday.

“It is the only global emergency fund that is fast, predictable and flexible enough to reach tens of millions of people each year”, according to the UN chief, who maintained that the fund supports a “well-coordinated global humanitarian response system with an enormous network of partners to help the most vulnerable”.

Since its creation 13 years ago, the fund has allocated over $6 billion to support life-saving assistance in 104 countries, protecting millions of people, sometimes within hours of the onset of an emergency.

Mr. Guterres described it as “one of the key instruments we have” to bring the system together and act in a coordinated way in the humanitarian field.

“To invest in the CERF is not only to invest in humanitarian action, it’s to invest in making the UN better as a whole”, he asserted.

CERF on the frontline

Noting that the climate crisis is causing more frequent and deadly hurricanes, cyclones and droughts around the world, the UN chief spelled out: “CERF is on the frontline of our response”. He said

“The pace of crises has been relentless in 2019”, said Mr. Guterres, noting that CERF had supported people in 44 countries, “from Yemen to Afghanistan to Colombia”.

Far-stretching support

“CERF provides funding without the bureaucracy that can slow down our work, so the money is available within days, sometimes hours, of disaster striking”, flagged the UN chief, citing lifeline support to food insecurity-plagued Mali and Sudan, as well as helping children to stay in school in Cameroon, Chad, the occupied Palestinian Territories, Ukraine and elsewhere.

And this year, CERF prioritized 350,000 people with disabilities around the world with funding.

“Humanitarian crises are not gender-neutral, and CERF recognizes this”, acknowledged the Secretary-General.

He pointed out that in 2019, it allocated $214 million to advance gender equality, informing that in Cameroon, CERF provided equipment and drugs for reproductive health, psycho-social support, and community awareness sessions on gender-based violence.

‘A fund for all, by all’

With the contributions of 52 Member States “CERF truly a fund for all, by all”, upheld the UN chief, while noting that today it is “contending with a far greater scale of suffering” than when it was created in 2005.

He stressed the fund represented a “collective commitment to respond to growing needs”, adding “it is our message of hope and global solidarity with people caught up in crises”.

With a pledge to make CERF “faster, more efficient, more innovative, and more responsive”, the UN chief closed by urging States to meet their General Assembly commitment to raise $1 billion for the fund.

2019’s ‘unprecedented’ demands

Chairing the event, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said that this year’s “unprecedented demand” for emergency funding enabled responses to “time-critical, life-threatening needs” for millions of crises-affected people across 46 countries.

“CERF supported aid workers to get ahead of weather-related emergencies like droughts, and also cyclones, earthquakes and floods…[and] helped us respond early to disease epidemics…avoiding a further spread of the deadly Ebola virus”, he detailed.

‘Bleak’ outlook ahead

Mr. Lowcock admitted that “significant challenges” lie ahead, saying “I fear the outlook for the year ahead is bleak”.

“One person in 45 around the world are expected to need our help. The highest number ever”, he said, which would require nearly $29 billion in funding.

Against that back drop, he outlined that the UN and its partners aim to assist nearly 109 million of the most vulnerable people in 2020, sketching out two ways for CERF to transform more lives.

First, he encouraged “getting ahead of crises and taking an anticipatory approach when data and evidence tell us that a high impact shock is imminent”, adding that “early funding reduces responses and costs and supports better quality programme design”, which in turn reduces suffering.

The Relief Coordinator said that a pilot programme was currently underway in Somalia, using CERF funding to mitigate the impact of severe drought there.

Second was to encompass more people, which he maintained requires all programmes to be designed to reach the neediest.

As such, he asked humanitarian and resident coordinators to look at gender-based violence, education for children in long-drawn crises and other protection concerns in designing responses.

Affirming that typically people with disabilities and women and girls are the most vulnerable people in crises, he said, “we need to do a better job to help them because not every part of the humanitarian response focuses enough on those groups”.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Lebanon: UN rights office calls for de-escalation of protest violence

Here’s how companies can make sure they are blockchain-ready

Why the financial scandals multiply?

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

My ‘’cultural’’ contacts with China

‘We are nowhere closer’ to Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, than a year ago, Security Council hears

‘Rare but devastating’ tsunamis underscore need for better preparation, UN chief urges on World Day

‘Regional security and integration’ in Central Africa under threat, Security Council warned

‘Spectre of poverty’ hangs over tribes and indigenous groups: UN labour agency

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Romania submits official recovery and resilience plan

Artificial intelligence: Commission takes forward its work on ethics guidelines

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

The ocean is teeming with microplastic – a million times more than we thought, suggests new research

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

Regulate social media platforms to defend democracy, MEPs say

Canada has the most comprehensive and elaborate migration system, but some challenges remain

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

These countries are the most optimistic about economic recovery from the pandemic

Last-chance Commission: Why Juncker promised investments of €300 billion?

COP25: Developing nation’s strike hard

Ireland’s planning to make its Emerald Isle even greener

Peer-to-peer learning: a way to develop medical students’ trainings

ISIL continues to pose a ‘serious challenge’ worldwide – UN counter-terror chief

Biodiversity: MEPs demand binding targets to protect wildlife and people

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

Nicaragua ‘crisis’ still cause for concern amid murder, torture allegations: Bachelet

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

Businesses, governments and consumers to implement a more climate-friendly approach to #BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day 2018

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate deal is bad for US business. Here’s why.

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

The winds of change: 5 charts on the future of offshore power

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

COVID-19 and the importance of scientific credibility in decreasing the number of cases

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

NASA is recruiting new astronauts – this is what it takes to apply

Why it’s time to celebrate migrants

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

The Pegasus Project awarded the 2021 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism

Detecting online child sexual abuse requires strong safeguards

Sexual reproductive health rights SRHR and ending HIV: can one be achieved without the other?

Greenhouse gas emissions have already peaked in 30 major cities

Transparency, EU values, and pluralism: new rules for European political parties

Central Asia bloc has important role in ‘peace, stability and prosperity’ beyond region, says Deputy UN chief

Greater transparency, fairer prices for medicines ‘a global human rights issue’, says UN health agency

It’s time to end our ‘separate but unequal’ approach to mental health

How smart tech helps cities fight terrorism and crime

EU and Mercosur reach agreement on trade

UN committed to helping Haiti build better future, says Guterres, marking 10-year anniversary of devastating earthquake

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to O2 CZ, CETIN and T-Mobile CZ for their network sharing agreement

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began

UN chief calls for ‘immediate end’ to escalation of fighting in southwestern Syria, as thousands are displaced

The world’s food waste problem is bigger than we thought – here’s what we can do about it

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: