Tvinnereim - Photo:MFA Norway
MFA Norway

Support for forgotten crises

CERF is key to secure response in forgotten humanitarian crises, especially at a time when humanitarian needs are at a record high.

07 Dec 2023 - ‘The UN Central Emergency Response Fund saves lives and alleviates suffering in connection with forgotten humanitarian crises as well. Norway is now providing an additional NOK 55 million to the Fund,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim. ‘The Fund provides life-saving assistance and protection in areas where the scale of need is enormous, including in areas that are not receiving much media attention,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

Norway’s additional contribution for 2023 was announced by Ms Tvinnereim at the High-level Pledging Event on the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) at the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Wednesday 6 December.

Rapid response to unprecedented humanitarian needs

Humanitarian needs are at a record high. The UN estimates that more than 360 million people are in need of emergency aid this year. Many humanitarian crises are being overlooked and are not receiving enough media coverage. These tend to be protracted armed conflicts, long-term political crises or climate-related crises, or some combination of these.

‘The UN Central Emergency Response Fund is able to act quickly when a crisis strikes. We saw this after the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria earlier this year and following the recent flood in Somalia. The Fund also provides much-needed support to underfunded crises, such as in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen and Syria,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

The funding Norway provides through CERF is part of Norway’s overall strategy to promote better coordinated, more effective humanitarian efforts at country level. The additional funding comes on top of Norway’s annual fixed contribution to CERF of NOK 450 million. The fixed contribution is disbursed as early as possible each year to ensure that the Fund has flexible and predictable financing available when crises occur.

CERF is a vital part of the international response to humanitarian crises. The funds are allocated to UN organisations that carry out humanitarian efforts themselves and also provide funding to other humanitarian partners in the relevant countries.

Early action prevents suffering

‘We must take action to better address the humanitarian consequences of climate change. Where possible, it is essential to take preventive action to avert crises. The UN Central Emergency Response Fund can provide funding so that response efforts can begin as soon as there are signs that a crisis is approaching. This enables us to limit the most serious impacts of crises such as floods and droughts,’ said Ms Tvinnereim.

The countries that have received the most funding from CERF in 2023 are Sudan, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria. Norway has been one of the largest donors to CERF since it was established in 2006.