United Nations, Dec 10 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged donors to provide more support to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) at a high-level pledging event.
Noting that the climate crisis is causing more frequent and deadly hurricanes, cyclones and droughts around the world, Guterres said on Monday that the CERF is the only global emergency fund that is fast, predictable and flexible enough to reach tens of millions of people each year, Xinhua news agency reported.
It also provides funding without the bureaucracy that can slow down the work, so the money is available within days, sometimes hours, of disaster striking, he added.
The Global Humanitarian Overview announced last week that a record 168 million people are expected to need lifesaving humanitarian aid in 2020, said the UN chief, adding that with overall needs estimated at 28.8 billion US dollars, the CERF plays a crucial part as the first and fastest to respond.
The fund represented a “collective commitment to respond to growing needs,” he stressed.
With a pledge to make the CERF “faster, more efficient, more innovative, and more responsive,” the UN chief urged states to stand by their General Assembly commitment to raise 1 billion dollars for the fund.
Since its creation, the CERF has provided more than 6 billion dollars in lifesaving humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries and territories, Guterres said.
When the General Assembly in 2016 endorsed the increase of the CERF’s annual fundraising target to 1 billion dollars, it also called upon all member states to consider increasing their voluntary contributions to the fund.