Norway will increase its contribution to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) from NOK 380 million to NOK 420 million (appx USD 52 million) a year for the next four years.
'This will mean greater predictability for our humanitarian partners and more effective humanitarian aid,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Norway’s contribution for 2018 was announced at a UN pledging conference on 8 December. For the first time, Norway has pledged to provide support for a four-year period, subject to the consent of the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting.
Humanitarian needs are now greater than ever before. According to UN estimates, 136 million people in 25 countries are in need of humanitarian aid and protection due to conflicts and natural disasters.
‘The many large-scale and protracted humanitarian crises mean that the UN needs a robust emergency response fund. Norway has been one of the largest contributors since CERF was established in 2006. We are now responding to the UN Secretary-General’s call for even larger contributions, as needs are increasing,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The UN is asking for USD 22.5 billion in humanitarian aid in 2018. CERF is an important part of the international first-line response to humanitarian crises. CERF funds are channelled through various UN organisations to humanitarian partners in the field.
‘Efforts coordinated by the UN are helping to save lives every single day. This year, rapid provision of support through CERF has helped to prevent and reduce hunger crises in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and northeastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
This year, funds from CERF have, among other things, helped to ensure access to critical health services for 20 million people and clean drinking water and sanitation facilities for 13 million people. Women and children are the main recipients of aid through CERF.