The UN aims at raising USD 500 millions for the fund over the next three years. The fund will serve several purposes; 1) secure rapid reaction during the first days of a humanitarian disaster, 2) finance important preventive efforts in a crisis, such as vaccinations etc., and 3) support humanitarian efforts in "forgotten" crises.
Norway was the first member state to pledge contributions to the fund. The Norwegian contribution of NOK 200 million (approx. USD 30 million) was transferred in January this year. - We do this because the last year has shown us that humanitarian disasters requires immediate action, said Foreign Minister Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre upon the announcement of the Norwegian contribution.
So far member states have pledged altogether USD 256 million to the fund.
State Secretary Mr. Morten Wetland's statement:
I am speaking on behalf of a government that is deeply committed to meeting humanitarian needs.
Norway has pledged its support for the new Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) – and we are anxious to see it succeed. The contribution of USD 30 million has been transferred.
But the success of this rapid-response fund will not be automatic. OCHA has a new instrument – but it also has a new responsibility. We trust that OCHA will ensure that this is an unbureaucratic, efficient and accountable funding mechanism for future humanitarian emergencies.
For the first time, we now also have a fund that will focus on the many neglected humanitarian crises. Hopefully, the CERF effect will mitigate the CNN effect.
However, the donor countries must also accept the limitations involved. The money in the fund will not bear our name, it will not convey national messages and it will not fly any flags.
And we must not interfere with OCHA’s important work in operating the fund. Our job is not to restrict, but to inspire and to support.
Today we are launching the means to provide immediate humanitarian aid – and to ensure humanism without breaks.
Most lives are lost in the first few hours and days after a natural disaster.
The new CERF will help us to prevent this. We will be able to transfer funds more quickly. We will be able to plan and coordinate our work much better. We will save more lives.
Together with OCHA, we share the responsibility for enlarging the CERF donor base. At present it is far too small.
But I would like to draw your attention to a positive example: the contribution made by Estonia just before Christmas last year - in fact the very first contribution to the CERF.
We need more emerging donors to step forward if we are to provide the UN with a robust financial platform for its humanitarian work. We need to build more humanitarian partnerships.
At present, more than a hundred of the UN’s member states are engaged in UN peace operations.
This should serve as an inspiration to us all. We have a job to do over the coming years – in order to make those lethal breaks in humanitarian efforts ever shorter.