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$1 Billion Disbursed So Far By UN Emergency Fund

$1 billion disbursed so far by UN emergency fund to help most vulnerable

14 October 2008 – Disbursements by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for humanitarian aid worldwide topped the $1 billion mark this week when more than $200,000 was disbursed to feed women and children in Tajikistan, which is suffering from food insecurity and a poor harvest.

The Fund was set up in March 2006 to speed relief for natural and man-made disasters and save thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost to delay.

“As recently as two years ago, humanitarian agencies faced with a sudden onset crisis such as an earthquake or cyclone struggled to find resources to start life-saving operations,” Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said. “CERF can now allocate funds within days of an emergency or a disaster to kick-start relief efforts saving thousands of lives.”

Since its creation, the voluntarily-funded CERF has given nearly $700 million to help those affected by rapid onset disasters, while $325 million has been earmarked for 33 countries – including Afghanistan, Iraq and Zimbabwe – to redress imbalances in global aid distribution for so-called forgotten crises.

Dozens of countries have benefited thus far from the Fund, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and Afghanistan being the top three beneficiaries.

To date, 93 Member States, the Holy See, the private sector and individual donors have contributed some $1.1 billion to CERF, which seeks to raise $450 million annually.

ENDS

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