UN Emergency Fund Spent 420 Million Dollars on Life-Saving Actions in 2017: Report

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The United Nations' (UN) Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) supported relief operations in 36 countries with some 420 million US dollars dedicated to life-saving actions for millions of people in need throughout 2017, according to a recent report issued by the fund.

UN Emergency Fund Spent 420 Million Dollars on Life-Saving Actions in 2017: Report

CERF's 2017 annual report details how CERF and its partners ensured the strategic use of 418.2 million dollars in donor contributions to deliver aid of the highest priority, where and when it was needed the most.

"In 2017, I saw how CERF changed the lives of many ... it is without question, one of our most important tools to reach people quickly and save lives," UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock was quoted as saying by the report.

Highlights in the report include support for displaced families across the world, including the Rohingya refugees crossing borders from Myanmar to Bangladesh in search for safety, Xinhua news agency reported.

The report also demonstrates the impact of early CERF funding following the warning signs of famine in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

It noted that CERF acted as a lifeline for people facing the consequences of natural disasters throughout the Caribbean region and for those caught up in the world's most underfunded crises, such as in Afghanistan, Chad and Sudan.

Furthermore, through a 20-million-dollar loan from CERF, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was able to avoid a disruption in critical humanitarian services for the most vulnerable refugees across its fields of operation, the report said, citing UNRWA's chief Pierre Krahenbuhl.

Meanwhile, CERF's donors helped the fund raise a total of 514.6 million dollars in funding in 2017, setting a record and reaching well beyond the 450-million-dollar target for the year. The top three donors are Britain (102.6 million dollars), Germany (82.8 million dollars) and Sweden (76.0 million dollars).

"We need a larger CERF so that more people will be reached with life-saving aid at the earliest stages of crises," Lowcock said.

He added that "a strong CERF able to deliver on its mandate is every member state's responsibility, and a step towards our commitments to leave no one behind and reach the furthest left behind first."

CERF was introduced in 2006 to deliver funding quickly to humanitarian responders and better balance global distribution of emergency assistance. It has provided over 5 billion dollars’ worth of assistance to some 100 countries and territories across the globe.

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