CERF: Which countries need more emergency aid?

A child stands in the middle of the Jean-Marie Vincent camp for internally displaced persons in Haiti. The country is one of the two that will receive funding from the second round of U.N. Central Emergency Fund allocation. Photo by: IOM Haiti / CC BY-NC-SA

Syria may be the biggest humanitarian emergency right now, but it’s not the only country in dire need of help.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos announced on Tuesday the 12 countries set to receive assistance from the OCHA Central Emergency Fund’s underfunded emergencies window for this year. The fund allocates resources for sudden emergencies or those that are just not receiving enough donor attention.

In 2012, South Sudan received the most resources, with CERF allocation for the world’s youngest nation topping some $40 million. Its neighbor Sudan received just almost half of that, but this year, CERF allocation to the country has reached $31.9 million to date.

CERF released a total $100 million in its first round this year. Now the second round is allocating a further $72 million, which will go to:

  • Somalia - $20 million.

  • Pakistan - $10 million.

  • Chad - $8 million.

  • Niger - $8 million.

  • North Korea - $6 million.

  • Mauritania - $4 million.

  • Colombia - $3.5 million.

  • Myanmar - $3 million.

  • Madagascar - $3 million.

  • Philippines - $3 million.

  • Bangladesh - $2 million.

  • Haiti - $1.5 million.

Somalia, which has a standing consolidated appeal of $1.15 billion for 2013, remains significantly underfunded: Only $385 million or 39 percent of the request has been met so far.

Meanwhile, both North Korea and Haiti have already received $7 million and $5.9 million, respectively, in assistance under the underfunded emergency window early this year to help provide for health care, food, water and sanitation. But Amanda Pitt, spokesperson for OCHA in New York, told Devex an analysis showed “more severe” funding gaps for lifesaving programs in both countries than earlier predicted, thus the decision for additional funding.

For instance, in North Korea, there’s an increase in humanitarian requirements, particularly food. And in Haiti, activities to prevent the further spread of cholera are being hampered by lack of funding.

“While donors have pledged funds for the longer-term cholera eradication plan in Haiti, out of US$34.5 million requested to fund immediate cholera response in 2013, only $5.7 million has been received (including two CERF allocations),” Pitt explained.

The first round of allocations are based on projected funding gaps in a given country. The second round “compensates for changed funding predictions or operational circumstances.” But as a general rule, countries that receive funding from the first round of CERF allocation are no longer eligible for the second round in any given year, unless “extraordinary circumstances” warrant a second release.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

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