In show of solidarity, Japanese prefecture contributes to UN relief fund

11 May 2006

The Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, scene of a massive earthquake in 1995, has contributed $850,000 to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which provides cash grants in response to humanitarian crises.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Shashi Tharoor, praised the donation during a meeting today with the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture, Toshizo Ido.

Thanking the Governor for the generosity of his prefecture, which in 1995 experienced massive damage and loss of life during the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in the highly developed area of Kobe, Mr. Tharoor said the gesture was evidence that those who had suffered from a natural disaster were reaching out to others in need. “This spirit of solidarity is what the UN is all about,” he said.

The CERF, which has so far received $254 million of its $450 million target reserve, yesterday announced its first disbursements for the world’s most under-funded emergencies, with 12 States, 11 of them in Africa, benefiting from a total of $32 million.

The fund was launched two months ago to jump-start relief operations and save thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost to delay under the then-existing Central Emergency Revolving Fund, which had only $50 million in resources.


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