New York, 16 December 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks at CERF High-Level ConferenceYour Excellency Dr. Maikibi Kadidiatou Dandobi, Minister of Population, Women's Promotion and Child Protection of Niger, Your Excellency, Mr. Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark,
Excellencies, Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Five years ago, the UN General Assembly launched a new kind of fund.
A fund to ensure that when crisis struck, aid workers could start saving lives without delay.
A fund that would reach everyone, even in emergencies that have been ignored, or forgotten, by much of the world.
A fund that is fast, fair and efficient.
Today, we can see that the Central Emergency Response Fund has exceeded expectations.
It has disbursed more than $2 billion dollars in assistance -- making it one of the largest sources of humanitarian funding in the world.
Two out of three members of the UN General Assembly have contributed to it -- showing how widely it has become accepted.
A recent independent external five-year evaluation gave the Fund top marks on speed and efficiency.
And it said CERF has been a catalyst for reform – ensuring better planning and better coordination.
We can now say that CERF has come of age, and represents the best in the United Nations.
It is flexible, and responsive to the needs of people.
It provides a service, with low costs, that would otherwise not exist.
And it has a clear, measurable impact.
Let me give you an example.
This year, we saw severe flooding across many countries in Central America.
But the crisis did not get the attention it deserved.
Funding was slow.
The CERF, however, was able to rush into action.
When Carla, a 19-year old woman from El Salvador, felt a heavy pain in her abdomen, a mobile clinic funded by CERF was there to help her.
The pain was the beginning of labour.
Imagine if that clinic had not been there, due to a lack of funding.
All over the world, CERF projects have saved lives and built resilience to deal with future crises.
In Kenya, thousands of children are being vaccinated against measles, including in the Dadaab refugee camp, home to people who have fled famine and fighting in Somalia.
I met some of these children just last week when I visited Kenya and Somalia.
In Pakistan, I have seen how CERF has provided water, food and shelter to thousands of families after the floods.
In these and many other places, CERF has saved thousands of lives.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
These are financially difficult times for many.
Not only in developing countries, but in developed parts of the world as well.
It is essential that every dollar spent on humanitarian aid is spent to maximum effect.
That is why we are here today. Because money given to CERF is money well spent.
It is guaranteed to go to the people who need it most, in time to make a difference.
CERF is a United Nations success story.
I thank you for the generous support that has made CERF possible, and I urge you to continue to contribute the much-needed funds that are – literally – life or death for hundreds of thousands of the world's most vulnerable people.
Thank you very much.
Statements on 16 December 2011
- New York, 16 December 2011 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the meeting between the Secretary-General and Ms. Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor-elect of the International Criminal Court
- New York, 16 December 2011 - Secretary-General's opening remarks to UN Global Compact Board
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 16 December 2011 - Secretary-General's video message, aired today to launch event for World summit of Legislators (to be held in Rio de Janeiro from 15-17 June 2012)