By Julius N. Uma
August 10, 2012 (JUBA) The United Nations humanitarian chief on Thursday announced an allocation of US$55m from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), to strengthen humanitarian operations in eight countries with neglected humanitarian emergencies.
- Valerie Amos, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator speaks in Jonglei State. 8 February 2012 (ST/Julius Uma)
The countries earmarked to benefit from the allocation include, Sudan, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.
In January this year, 13 countries reportedly received nearly $104m from the CERF, hence the $55m allocation will bring to more than $158m, the total amount provided for underfunded emergencies this year.
“These CERF grants provide critical funding. The money will save lives by helping aid agencies reach people in desperate need. I hope this funding will also serve to draw attention to their situation, as millions more people are still in need,” Valerie Amos, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, said in a statement.
However, while $14m will be reportedly be allocated to Sudan to address food, health, water needs and provide assistance to the displaced people and host communities, particularly in Darfur, at least $12 million will go to the aid community in DRC to cater for increasing nutrition and health needs.
On the other hand, agencies in Afghanistan will be allocated $10m to be spent on the most vulnerable, whereas humanitarian organizations in Ethiopia will get another $10m to address the worsening food crisis and provide assistance to refugees.
Since 2006, nearly a third of the $2.6bn allocated to CERF has reportedly been allocated to neglected crises in more than 40 countries.
Funded by voluntary contributions from member states, non-governmental organizations, regional governments, the private sector and individual donors, CERF in 2011, reportedly allocated about $427m to 11 UN agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Most of these funds, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), were used to address climate-related emergencies, drought and food insecurity problems.