Devex Examines Functions Of U.N. OCHA’s Central Emergency Response Fund

Devex: CERF: The fund that functions ‘like the ambulance for the U.N.’
“Mark Lowcock, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, last week announced the largest ever disbursement from the Central Emergency Response Fund, the U.N. mechanism for allocating unearmarked humanitarian dollars. The $125 million for 13 underfunded emergencies around the world will focus on four priority areas of gender-based violence and reproductive access, education, protection, and disabilities … As the number of humanitarian crises around the world continues to grow while official development assistance from traditional donors falls, CERF fills a key gap in international funding by disbursing funds in two ways: For protracted crises where needs remain acute but international attention has waned … CERF disburses money twice a year through its Underfunded Emergencies window. Through its second window, Rapid Response, CERF allows the U.N. to quickly get money into the field during humanitarian emergencies any time of the year, such as in response to recent Cyclone Idai in southern Africa…” (Welsh, 4/19).