Amid crushing global humanitarian needs, top UN officials urge expanded support for emergency fund
06 December 2023
40 donors pledge more than US$419 million for 2024
As hunger, disease and displacement continue to drive humanitarian disasters around the world, top United Nations officials today underscored how the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) serves as a lifeline in urgent and underfunded crises, at the Fund’s annual pledging event.
“CERF makes a difference. And I have personally seen that difference,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres at today’s event. “I urge donors to continue stepping forward for this vital fund. CERF provides support and hope when people need it most.”
Forty donors today announced contributions of more than US$419 million for CERF for 2024, exceeding the $409 million pledged at last year’s event. Additional funding is anticipated during 2024, with several donors announcing today that pledges are forthcoming.
So far this year, CERF has allocated more than $640 million to support millions of people who need urgent assistance in some 40 countries and territories. This included kick-starting urgent humanitarian operations in Gaza and Sudan, as well as swiftly responding to the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
To address rising hunger this year, CERF helped to combat food insecurity and the risk of famine, while also allocating a record $271 million to help keep life-saving operations running in underfunded crises across 26 countries.
The Fund also led the way in innovative finance solutions to climate-related emergencies, including through the launch of the CERF Climate Action Account at the Climate Change Conference (COP28), currently taking place in Dubai.
“This year, once again, CERF has proven that it is truly the ‘for all, by all’ Fund, as envisaged by the General Assembly when [the Fund] was created back in 2006,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths. “It needs to continue to play such a critical role, if it is fully funded.”
Since CERF was established, global funding needs through humanitarian appeals have increased tenfold – from $5.2 billion in 2006 to assist 32 million people to nearly $57 billion in 2023 to help 245 million people in need.
To date, the Fund, which has an annual funding target of $1 billion, has helped hundreds of millions of people with nearly $9 billion in more than 110 countries and territories.