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(New York: 9 December 2009): At a high-level United Nations conference convened today in support of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), some 63 donors pledged $424 million for 2010. The figure is roughly $50 million more than the amount pledged at last year’s conference when some $380 million was raised. It is also the highest ever total at a CERF pledging meeting. Since 2006, some 115 members or observers to the General Assembly--nearly two-thirds of the General Assembly’s members – and other partners including the private sector have contributed or pledged $1.9 billion to the Fund. A 2006 resolution of the General Assembly specifies that the CERF should be funded at $500 million per year, of which$50 million is a revolving loan fund.

“In the coming year, we do not know exactly how the combination of conflict, climate change, demographic shifts, and a global economic slowdown will conspire to create emergency needs,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “But we do know that we will face such challenges, and that CERF will be an important part of the response,” he added.

Five new donors stepped forward today—Madagascar, Mauritania, the Russian Federation, Singapore, and the Sovereign Order
of Malta. Although time constraints prevented them from announcing their pledges, Andorra, Namibia and Samoa have also committed to contributing to the Fund in 2010. Several long-standing donors also announced significant increases in their contributions, including Norway, Belgium, Brazil, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Slovenia, South Africa, and the United States. One private donor, Western Union, increased its pledge by 50 percent.

“I am delighted to see so many donors renew and strengthen their commitment to the humanitarian cause,” said John Holmes,United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. “The CERF is crucial for our ability to assist quickly millions of people around the globe, as it enables us to carry out immediate life-saving activitieswherever and whenever required.

Mr. Holmes hosted the high-level event that brought together those committed to ensuring that the fund continues to operate successfully, including senior representatives from the international donor community, United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and countries whose populations benefit from assistance made possible by the CERF.

President of the United Nations General Assembly Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki addressed the meeting, as did the Secretary- General, the United Kingdom Minister of State for International Development Gareth Thomas, and Mr. Tabrani, Senior Advisor, National Agency for Disaster Management, Republic of Indonesia.

The CERF helps to save lives by providing quick initial funding for life-saving assistance and rapid response in sudden onset or rapidly deteriorating crises and for under funded humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters. So far, the Fund has supported emergency operations in 75 countries and territories by allocating $1.4 billion. It also helped to redress the imbalances in global aid distribution that have too often left in need millions of people in so-called neglected or forgottencrises.

With the funds pledged today, the CERF is now close to its $450 million annual target. “Given that some countries are still engaged in budget processes, I am confident that we will be able to raise the remaining amount needed in the course of theyear, as we have done each year since 2006,” Mr. Holmes said.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York,+1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 347 244 2106;; Nicholas Reader +1 212 963 4961, mobile +1 646 752 3117,; John Nyaga,+ 1 917 367 9262, mobile +1
917 318 8917,;

Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570.
OCHA press releases are available at or .For more information about CERF,
please see


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