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Minister Brophy pledges €10 million to UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund

Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy, TD, today pledged €10 million towards the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Minister Brophy made the pledge at the High Level Pledging Event, which was opened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said:

‘2020 was a year of immense challenges and human suffering, but also one of impressive efforts and achievements in the most difficult circumstances. In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CERF was a beacon of global solidarity. Ireland is immensely proud of its longstanding support to the CERF and I am delighted to announce our contribution of €10 million for 2021.’

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is a global humanitarian fund that assists people trapped in humanitarian crises – in sudden onset and deteriorating emergencies, as well as underfunded situations. In 2020, the CERF allocated over €600 million to 45 humanitarian crises around the globe. This supported life-saving support in the areas of health, emergency food distributions, shelter, water and sanitation and education.

Minister Brophy added:

‘While there are no humanitarian solutions to today’s humanitarian crises, the provision of protection and humanitarian assistance is a life-line to the most vulnerable. And the CERF is central to this. When Ireland joins the UN Security Council next month for a two-year term, you can be assured that we will consistently and tirelessly make the case for principled humanitarian action and access for those most in need.’





Notes for Editors

  • The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is a UN humanitarian funding instrument established in 2006 to release money rapidly when a crisis occurs or when there is a sudden escalation of an existing crisis.
  • The Fund is administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which has a mandate to coordinate global humanitarian response, humanitarian financing, information management, policy development, and humanitarian advocacy.
  • The CERF aims to have funds on the ground within 72 hours of a crisis occurring. It is also used to support underfunded crises, such as the Central African Republic, Burundi, or Chad, which might not be receiving media attention but where there is ongoing dire need. The recipient of CERF funds are UN agencies, who often on-grant to non-governmental implementing partners.
  • Donor countries and other contributors pool their funds in CERF. Ireland has contributed to the fund every year since its inception. It is the 8th largest donor over its lifetime and the 10th largest donor in 2020. It has a multi-annual agreement in place (2019-2021) committing to provide €10 million per annum.
  • In 2019 (the latest year with consolidated data), CERF grants totalling €447 million helped humanitarian partners deliver life-saving assistance to an estimated 29.4 million people in 49 countries. 53 per cent of people targeted with 2019 CERF funding were women and girls, and close to 55 per cent were children under age 18. The annual report is available here.
  • While complete 2020 data is not yet available, a record number of vulnerable people caught in humanitarian crises around the world will receive life-saving assistance from the CERF. To date, grants totalling over €623 million have been provided to humanitarian partners in over 45 countries and territories.
  • The recently launched Global Humanitarian Overview (available here) estimates that in 2021 235 million people worldwide will need humanitarian assistance and protection – an increase of 40% in just one year. This includes 56 countries affected by humanitarian crises and the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN Secretary-General calls on the world to ‘stand with people in their darkest hour of need’.
  • The CERF aligns strongly with Ireland’s commitment to provide predictable, flexible, and timely funding to the best-placed partners.
  • Ireland engages with OCHA through headquarters as a member of the OCHA Donor Support Group, through our Permanent Missions to the UN in New York and Geneva and through Missions in countries where OCHA operates.