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.
2015 Earthquake in Nepal
Two major earthquakes struck Nepal in April and May 2015, affecting more than 5.4 million people and causing severe damage to infrastructure and livelihoods.
More than 8,000 people lost their lives, over 600,000 houses were destroyed and another 290,000 damaged, rendering many people homeless. The UN and its partners appealed for $422 million to help 2.8 million people for five months. CERF was one of the first contributors to support response efforts. Within 48 hours of the first earthquake, the Fund announced $15 million from the Rapid Response Window to jump-start urgent relief.
CERF funding allowed humanitarian responders to provide food to more than 728,000 people, safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to 235,000 people and access to essential health services to an estimated 1.46 million people.
The Nepalese child in the picture is one of many children left homeless and without access to care.