New York, 9 December 2021 (TDI): The United Nations (UN) Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) promotes coordinated action on humanitarian crises. It also supports swift action.

The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, mentioned that CERF offered an opportunity for the humanitarian community. It has a target of achieving 1 billion annual funds. Moreover, it is helping people in crisis.

The CERF is marking its 15th anniversary. The event will be held to galvanize commitments. Moreover, to meet the increasingly complex levels of humanitarian needs.

CERF-Prioritize the vulnerable

Martin Griffiths mentioned that the fund is principled, independent, and impartial. It also supports the neglected crisis when others do not pay heed. Griffiths mentioned that it prioritizes the need of women, people with disabilities along other vulnerable groups.

The humanitarian chief mentioned that according to last year’s estimates, “more than half of the recipients of CERF funding were women and girls”. Moreover, it is the biggest donor to humanitarian programs. It also responds to gender-based violence.

CERF: “A proven success story”

Martin Griffiths described CERF as a “proven success story”. It is constantly evolving and is applying learned lessons. It also embraces innovations. The complex global risks require these innovations. The global crisis is more intertwined than ever.

There is a concept of anticipatory action in CERF which makes the finance available on an emergency basis. It assists faster and more humanely.

Martin Griffiths also underlined the forecasts of drought in Somalia. He added that CERF funding will ensure humanitarian assistance. It will make sure that families could feed their children.

CERF: stepped up to the challenge

Martin Griffiths mentioned that this year was the most difficult on record of humanitarian need. However, “CERF has stepped up to the challenge”.

It helped 69 million people last year. These estimates are twice as compared to last year. These people were in need of humanitarian assistance because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund also released its first multi-country grants. Moreover, it introduced a non-Governmental organization allocation. It was allocated to support front-line responders.

Martin Griffiths mentioned that, in Ethiopia, the fund has released several allocations to save lives.

The UN is providing $20 million in CERF to mitigate the loss of livelihoods and declines in food consumption after erratic rainfall in parts of Ethiopia depleted water supplies.
The UN is providing $20 million in CERF to mitigate the loss of livelihoods and declines in food consumption after erratic rainfall in parts of Ethiopia’s depleted water supplies.

Moreover, in the case of Afghanistan, it scaled up emergency responses. It kept the basic services running in the country.

The humanitarian chief also underlined that in “Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen” CERF  allocated food assistance capital. It was given to combat famine, for millions of people.

Upping the ante

Martin Griffiths mentioned that humanitarian needs today are “seven times what they were when CERF was created 15 years ago”. Moreover, he cited the prolonged conflicts. He also mentioned climate change is also a cause of concern. It is  “pushing communities to the brink of survival”. There is a  raging battle against COVID-19.

The humanitarian chief underlined there is a need for strong CERF with the resources. The crisis demands it. CERF funding needs to rise in order to respond swiftly at the onset of an emergency.

Support CERF

Member states in 2016 called for a doubling of funds. The goal was to reach $1 billion. However, the goal is not even close to being reached this year. The humanitarian chief appealed to the countries to allocate a small percentage of their humanitarian funding each year.

Griffiths concluded that CERF is a spark of hope in a difficult world. There is a need to light that spark for the sake of humanity

“CERF is a spark of hope in a difficult, shadowed world. Let us light that spark for the sake of our shared humanity”, -Griffiths.