High level conference on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), New York, 14 December 2010
OCHA reports that US$ 358 million was pledged during the High Level CERF Conference, which given the bleak global economic situation, is an extremely strong message of support to the CERF from all quarters. All participants gave positive feedback on the impact of the CERF, its solid management and accountability measures, and its importance as part of the humanitarian reform process.
The US$358 million pledged during the Conference is lower than the amount pledged at last year’s Conference (US$ 424 million). This is due in large part to a stronger US dollar, as well as to several key donors postponing their pledges until January 2011. The pledges for 2010 ultimately equalled US$ 422 million in contributions, and OCHA expects to realize approximately this amount during the course of 2011.
The Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) welcomed Costa Rica, Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, the Regional Government of Flanders, and the Turkish NGO Kimse Yok Mu as new contributors. The CERF now counts 124 of all 192 United Nations Member States as supporters – almost or 65% of the membership of the General Assembly. Moreover, there are now 38 countries that are both contributors to and recipients of the Fund.
OCHA reminded that the outpouring of solidarity following the disasters in Haiti and Pakistan resulted in a record level of private sector contributions to the CERF in 2010. For 2011, three private sector and civil society donors have already pledged US$ 210 000 and the figure is expected to increase as OCHA continues its efforts at broadening this segment of the donor base.
The ERC made a presentation on the use of CERF funds in 2010 and provided an update on policy matters. The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Sri Lanka provided a presentation on the CERF’s added value from the perspective of the UN Humanitarian Country Team, an in particular how CERF funding saved lives, helped to create better conditions for peace and development and fostered greater coordination and ultimately strengthened the humanitarian response system.
This year’s Conference brought the total amount raised for the CERF to more than US$ 2 billion.