Secretary-General's remarks at CERF High-Level Conference
New York, 13 December 2013
A growing number of people around the world are in need.
Humanitarian actors are struggling to keep pace.
That is why, seven years ago, the General Assembly took a bold step in establishing a new kind of fund.
A fund to deliver life-saving relief without delay after disaster strikes.
A fund to enable aid to reach everyone, including in ignored or forgotten emergencies.
The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has grown to become one of the largest and most reliable sources of humanitarian funding.
Since 2006, it has disbursed more than $3.2 billion dollars to emergencies in 88 countries.
It has proved itself as one of the most effective and efficient ways to support urgent aid needs.
This year alone, CERF funds have kick-started urgent humanitarian operations in Syria, Mali and the Philippines.
In Syria – where fighting continues to intensify and civilians are paying a terrible price – CERF has helped humanitarian agencies to meet the growing demands placed on them.
This year alone, CERF allocated more than $82 million dollars to support relief efforts in Syria and neighbouring countries, bringing the total since the crisis began in 2011 to more than $135 million dollars.
In the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, CERF provided the first major injection of funds for relief work on the ground.
As a result, millions of people received desperately needed food, clean water and medicines.
CERF has also been fulfilling its mandate by providing critical funding for less visible emergencies.
In Haiti, Sudan and Somalia … in the Central African Republic, Myanmar and Yemen … wherever people are suffering, CERF offers a lifeline.
In 2013, CERF allocated $175 million – the highest amount ever – for underfunded emergencies.
All of this has been made possible through your generous support.
I recently wrote to all UN staff reminding them of the Organization’s commitment to upholding the rights of people where they are at grave risk.
From flood zones to war zones, humanitarian work goes well beyond delivering goods.
It is founded on protecting rights and enhancing dignity, particularly for women and girls, who are often the most vulnerable.
CERF funding is crucial to these efforts.
This year, CERF funding has helped to protect children at risk of being recruited by armed groups in Mali.
It made it possible for 32,000 displaced people in Somalia to return home.
The most vulnerable people on Earth depend on your support to enable this work to continue.
That is why I ask that you give as much as possible to this important fund.
These are uncertain economic times for many, but I urge you to give generously and to give early, so CERF can help as many people as possible in 2014.
This year, so far, you have given $435 million dollars – close to our target of $450 million.
Let us match and exceed this figure in 2014.
In return for your generosity, we make a pledge to you.
Our pledge – my pledge – is that we will make the absolute best use of your precious contributions.
We know your revenue is hard-earned, so I thank you for your generosity and your trust.
I promise that it will be met with the highest standards of rigorous accounting and transparent management.
I count on all of you to contribute much-needed funds that are – literally – life or death for hundreds of thousands of people.
Thank you for your strong commitment. Thank you very much.
Statements on 13 December 2013
- New York, 13 December 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks to the General Assembly on the Final Report of the UN Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic
- New York, 13 December 2013 - Secretary-General's radio message to the people of the Central African Republic [scroll down for the French version]