Mobilizing Voluntary Contributions to the Central Emergency Response Fund, Crisis Affected Areas (Global), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)/ October 2014 - September 2015 © IOM/Bannon

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.


Greater Upper Nile region

Fighting in the country’s Greater Upper Nile region displaced hundreds of thousands of people in remote and swampy areas. Cut off from their homes, they lost their livelihoods and missed the growing season. Some 750,000 people lacked access to humanitarian support and were in dire need of food, shelter, clean water, health care and protection.

With a $5.2 million grant from CERF’s Rapid Response Window, humanitarians assembled and distributed 30,000 survival kits containing emergency shelter, health and nutrition supplies, and material for fishing or growing vegetables. The kits were airdropped in areas that could not be accessed by road. They offered families a way to cultivate nutritious food quickly, or to catch fish to eat, trade, sell or preserve.

In the picture, humanitarian partners distribute survival kits in Nyilwak, an isolated community on the Nile River, Upper Nile, on 29 August 2015. The survival kits- containing critical household items- are delivered by helicopter to hard-to-reach locations.