GLOBAL: UN announces $85m for under-funded emergencies

Friday, February 9, 2007
A United Nations fund, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has allocated about US$85 million for under-funded emergencies in 15 countries in Africa and Asia.

This funding is part of CERF's two-part annual allocation for life-saving programmes around the world, according to Margareta Wahlström, the acting UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

"While each of these allocations represents but a fraction of the overall requirements in the individual emergencies, as a whole they help us pursue principled humanitarian action in which those who require aid the most are identified, based strictly on need and assisted accordingly," Wahlström said.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is scheduled to receive the highest amount of $36.6 million. The other beneficiaries are: Angola, $4.5 million; Bangladesh, $1 million; Burundi, $8.5 million; Central African Republic, $4.5 million; Cote d'Ivoire, $4.5 million; the Democratic Republic of Korea, $5 million; Eritrea, $2 million; Ethiopia, $6 million; Haiti, $2 million; Myanmar, $354,976; Namibia, $1 million; Somalia, $1 million; Sudan, $6 million, and Zimbabwe, $2 million.

The CERF - funded by voluntary contributions - was officially launched on 9 March 2006 to improve emergency preparedness and response to the under-funded and sudden-onset crises. In its first year, CERF channelled at least $252 million to urgent humanitarian projects in 35 countries.

OCHA said one-third of all CERF funds were earmarked for under-funded emergencies to help redress imbalances in global aid distribution, which had resulted in millions of people in neglected or forgotten crises remaining in need.

The allocation to Somalia, which has been in conflict for more than a decade, goes to security, to facilitate the resumption of humanitarian activities. The $6 million for Sudan is for water and sanitation, education and health, aimed at ensuring adequate coverage of needs of the increasing number of vulnerable people, OCHA said.

The Zimbabwe allocation will be used for shelter and water and sanitation projects.

The latest allocations bring the total amount to $162 million since CERF's inception. The next round of under-funded allocations will be announced in mid-2007, OCHA said.
Author: IRIN
Source: IRIN
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