Thank you, Madame Chair,
The UK Government has been one of the leading supporters of the UN’s Central Emergency Relief Fund since its inception. I am delighted to reaffirm that support today.
2013 showed clearly the immense value of the CERF. Globally, the humanitarian system is stretched in a way that we have not seen in many years, and the CERF is playing a vital role. Its swift response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines provided critical assistance while Member States were mobilising their own contributions - making a real difference to people’s lives in the early days of the crisis. We’ve heard from the panel today of the critical role the CERF is playing in the Syrian crisis. And the CERF has ensured continued funding for crises without the public profile of more rapid onset emergencies, from drought in Eritrea to dengue fever in Laos.
Over recent years, we have seen a real commitment to reform from the CERF, including improved decision-making, particularly for underfunded emergencies, along with quicker disbursement to UN agencies and improved reporting of results. While some challenges remain, including in the onward disbursement of funds from UN agencies to implementing NGOs, we believe strongly in the CERF’s capacity to provide life-saving assistance.
That is why the UK has been the leading donor to the CERF since its creation, providing more than $760 million since 2006, taking into account my announcement today.
I am happy to reiterate the United Kingdom’s existing commitment to provide $99 million to the CERF for 2014.
I am also happy to announce a further contribution of $33 million for 2013, in addition to the $80 million we have already provided this year. This is in recognition of the extraordinary demands on the CERF this year, including its largest ever contribution to a single crisis, the $50 million it has allocated to the Syria crisis.
In a world of growing needs, the CERF is a vital tool. I hope that we all, existing, new and emerging donors will recognise this in the contributions we announce today.
Thank you very much, Madame Chair.