The United Nations humanitarian arm today welcomed a donation of $500,000 by PricewaterhouseCoopers, on behalf of the company’s partners and staff, to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
CERF is the UN’s central donation facility which collects contributions from Member States and other donors year round so that funds are on hand for immediate humanitarian relief in emergencies.
“This generous donation by PricewaterhouseCoopers, its partners and staff, could not have come at a more opportune time. Humanitarian needs have risen considerably because of various natural disasters around the world, but above all rapid increases in the price of food and energy globally have left many vulnerable people in need of extra aid,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said today.
The company’s donation is the largest so far by a private firm to the humanitarian fund. It is part of a larger grant prompted by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in early May, which led PricewaterhouseCoopers to pledge $1 million divided equally between the CERF and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The firm also contributed to the earthquake relief efforts for the people of China. The company donated $250,000 to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to help provide emergency food and health to children affected by the earthquake.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has a long history of collaborating with the UN, including contributing toward the Indian Ocean tsunami relief efforts, by being a member of the UN Global Compact, and by assisting the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help people displaced by the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. Globally, PricewaterhouseCoopers has donated $4 million to UNHCR.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that in Myanmar, devastation caused by the cyclone left more than 2 million people in need of help, while in the Horn of Africa, at least 14 million people are estimated to be in need of immediate emergency aid as a result of drought, coupled with rising food prices.
Since it was launched in 2006, donors to the CERF have contributed more than $800 million for rapid disaster relief, helping UN agencies, funds and programmes to save tens of thousands of lives in 62 countries struggling with disasters, armed conflicts or both.