Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
The Central Emergency Response Fund was established to ensure that the UN could respond rapidly to disasters, and today, we can conclude that CERF has become a success.
CERF has demonstrated its strengths by enabling fast delivery of humanitarian assistance to people affected by severe crises.
CERF has also acted as a guarantor to crisis responses that are underfunded due to lack of international attention.
In 2012 CERF was instrumental in responding to the humanitarian disaster in the Syrian Arab Republic and Sahel.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo we have recently seen an increase in gender based violence, from all sides in the conflict. Urgent action from the international community is now needed to assist and protect the victims of violence, and CERF and country based pooled fund (CHF) will be among the main vehicles’ for our response.
CERF’s ability to quickly disburse funds and kick start life-saving actions is unique and should be promoted.
Norway therefore believe that CERF should continue to primarily focus on emergency response, but linkages with early action and resilience programming should at the same time be strengthened.
CERF is contributing to effective, life-saving humanitarian assistance and should be used entirely for this purpose.
We understand that a certain limited percentage of the fund should cover programme support cost, but we question why a higher percentage should be retained by the United Nations Controllers office, than by OCHA.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Greater humanitarian needs will further challenge the debate on increased CERF funds.
It is unfortunate that 80 per cent of the funding for CERF is provided by a handful of donors.
A decrease in resources could affect the funds abilities to respond to the rising needs of crisis affected countries.
We therefore strongly believe that more countries could and should contribute more.
We also need to explore new and inventive ways to increase the future donation.
We encourage a continued outreach to, and dialogue with, potential new partners. - And we encourage existing donors to increase their contributions.
We should have the ambition to make the 450 million dollar target the norm rather than the goal.
Today I am pleased to announce that Norway is committed to continuing our contributions to various humanitarian pooled funding mechanisms, including the CERF.
For 2013, our main contribution to CERF will be increased to approximately 67 million US dollars (380 million NOK) - up 5,3 million US dollars (30 million NOK) from last year - and be disbursed early in January.
-We may also make a second disbursement later next year.
We are also pleased to inform that Norway for 2012 will make an extra end of the year contribution of approximately 10 million US dollars (60 million NOK) - bringing Norway’s total contribution to the CERF in 2012 up to 72 million US dollars (410 million NOK).