• Organization TypeFunding Agencies
  • Founded2006

United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)

CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches people caught up in crises. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 as the United Nations global emergency response fund, CERF enables humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises strike. As an essential enabler of global humanitarian action, CERF’s Rapid Response window allows country teams to kick-start relief efforts immediately in a coordinated and prioritized response when a new crisis emerges. CERF’s window for Underfunded Emergencies helps scale-up and sustain protracted relief operations to avoid critical gaps when no other funding is available. The Emergency Relief Coordinator manages CERF on behalf of the UN Secretary-General and is supported by the CERF secretariat, which ensures that funds are allocated properly, disbursed in a timely manner, and that the use of funds is reported appropriately and transparently. The CERF Advisory Group provides policy guidance to the Secretary-General on the use and impact of the fund. Since its inception, 126 UN Member States and observers, as well as regional Governments, corporate donors, foundations and individuals, made it possible for humanitarian partners to deliver over $5 billion in life-saving assistance in over 100 countries and territories. Many recipient countries also become a donor to CERF and contribute, making CERF a fund for all, by all.  Recognizing the clear need for more substantial and more strategic humanitarian financing, and considering the impressive track record of CERF in resourcing life-saving assistance for crisis-affected people, the UN General Assembly endorsed the Secretary-General’s call to expand CERF’s annual funding target to $1 billion. In its resolution A/RES/71/127 of December 2016, the General Assembly called upon all Member States and the private sector to ensure a fully funded $1 billion CERF commensurate with today’s humanitarian needs. In 2018 CERF published the second edition of its Results report. The report includes key information on people reached and presents a comprehensive overview of CERF’s achievements in a full one-year funding cycle, providing donors with a consolidated analysis of the humanitarian results enabled by their annual investment in CERF. It covers all grants provided by CERF in 2016, implemented in 2016 and 2017, and reported on in full by the end of 2017.    
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