The need for CERF reached a historical high in 2015, with unprecedented levels of humanitarian suffering and the highest level of global displacement since the Second World War. CERF remained a critical enabler of effective, timely and life-saving humanitarian action throughout the year, helping front line partners on the ground kick-start or reinforcing emergency activities in 45 countries.
The grant supports funding for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), administered by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a strategic financial instrument to assist the world’s most vulnerable people wherever and whenever crisis occur.
The programme’s main objectives are to enable an effective, timely, focused and coherent life-saving response to humanitarian crisis and deliver support for critical needs in underfunded and protracted crises.
In January 2015, the UN and its partners appealed for $16.4 billion to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to 57 million people in 22 countries. By the end of 2015, the humanitarian situation worldwide had worsened, and it was estimated that 87 million people required urgent humanitarian assistance at an estimated cost of $20 billion. CERF used its reserve from previous years ($67 million) to supplement contributions received for 2015 (US $403 million). It allocated nearly $470 million in 45 countries, supporting the lifesaving work of humanitarian partners by funding 463 projects through 72 grants. More in detail, CERF kick-started operations with rapid-response grants totalled nearly $301 million; meanwhile it disbursed $169 million through its Underfunded Emergencies Window.
Bangladesh and Myanmar
CERF allocated more than $8 million from the Underfunded Emergencies Window for displaced people in Bangladesh and Myanmar. At the time of the allocation, 130,000 people had been displaced in Myanmar by intercommunal violence in Rakhine state, and 541,000 people across the country required humanitarian assistance. In Bangladesh, over 33,000 registered refugees were living in two CERF allocated $21 million from the second underfunded-emergencies round for humanitarian support in Chad and Sudan. It was an increasingly challenging operating environment for humanitarian organizations and maintaining core assistance was vital to stop the situation from deteriorating camps in the Cox’s Bazar region. This was in addition to between 300,000 and 500,000 undocumented nationals of Myanmar requiring assistance. The CERF allocations offered a lifeline to many people displaced from their homes.
In Myanmar’s Kachin/Shan and Rakhine States, children affected by armed conflict need strong support for better access to education.