Ladies and gentlemen,
People say that time is money. For humanitarians – time is life. CERF was established to ensure that the UN could respond rapidly to disasters, and today – five years later – we can undisputedly conclude that CERF is a success. CERF has time and again demonstrated its strength by enabling fast delivery of humanitarian assistance to people affected by severe crises.
2010 was a special year starting with a devastating earthquake in Haiti and the flood in Pakistan, and CERF also responded to several other disasters including forgotten crises. CERF’s ability to quickly disburse funds and kick start life saving actions is unique. Norway would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the UN on its progressive efforts to improve the response to time-critical requirements when an unexpected crisis occurs.
Despite the financial crises, funding for CERF has continued to increase in 2010 – an astonishing achievement in itself. Norway welcomes the broad donor base of the fund. Especially we welcome the trend of increased funds from the private sector. Increased humanitarian needs will further challenge the debate on increased CERF funds. To address this we need to explore inventive ways to increase the future donation. We encourage a continued outreach to and dialogue with potential new donors, and we also encourage existing donors to increase their contributions. Let us make 2011 the year we reach at least 450 million dollars – because we have every reason to believe that humanitarian needs will continue to increase.
Major improvements have been made. However, the humanitarian system, including CERF, is still faced with several challenges. We look forward to discussing both challenges and recommendations for future changes in conjunction with next year’s CERF evaluation report.
Today I am pleased to announce that Norway is committed to continuing our contributions to various humanitarian pooled funding mechanisms including the CERF.
For 2011, our contribution to CERF will be NOK 325 million (approximately USD 53 million), the same amount as we initially allocated for this year and dispersed as early as January.
In addition we are pleased to inform you, as announced at the General Assembly meeting on Haiti earlier this month, that Norway will make an extra contribution this year of NOK 50 million - more than 8 million US dollars - bringing Norway’s total contribution to the CERF in 2010 to 66 million US dollars.