More than a dozen neglected emergencies around the world – where people are suffering the effects of hunger, malnutrition, disease, displacement and conflict – received a boost today with the United Nations’ allocation of some $84 million towards humanitarian aid.
The UN’s humanitarian chief, Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, made the funds available to 15 countries, with the money coming from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), a humanitarian fund established by the United Nations to enable more timely and reliable humanitarian assistance to those affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts. This is the first round of allocations from CERF’s window for under-funded emergencies in 2011; the second round will take place in July.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – which Ms. Amos heads and administers the CERF – said the money will be granted to UN humanitarian agencies, the International Organization for Migration, and to partner organizations, and through them to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to support humanitarian projects in the affected countries.
The humanitarian teams in these countries and territories were selected to receive CERF grants based on analysis of the funding levels of their aid programmes and the severity of the humanitarian needs.
Humanitarian actors in Somalia received the largest single allocation of some $15 million. UN agencies in Ethiopia will receive the second-largest amount of $11 million. Agencies working in Chad will receive $8 million, while humanitarian partners in Kenya will receive $6 million to assist refugees.
Humanitarian programmes in the Central African Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe have each been allocated some $5 million, while programmes to assist people in Burundi, Madagascar, and the occupied Palestinian territory will receive $4 million apiece.
Humanitarian actors in Colombia, Djibouti, and Myanmar will each receive $3 million to bolster their emergency programmes, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will receive $3 million for Iraqi and Afghan refugees.
In 2010, a total of $139 million was allocated to 17 under-funded emergencies. Since 2006, nearly a third of the $1.9 billion allocated from CERF has gone to chronically neglected crises in more than 50 countries.
CERF is funded by voluntary contributions from member states, NGOs, local governments, the private sector and individual donors. This year, donors have so far pledged nearly $358 million in support of CERF.
CERF commits one third of all funds each year to redress imbalances in global aid distribution by supporting neglected crises. Since 2006, it has disbursed nearly $2 billion to help millions of victims of natural disasters and conflict in nearly 80 countries.