UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the welcome ceremony of the second part of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, in Montreal, Canada, on Dec. 6, 2022. (Photo by Zou Zheng/Xinhua)
"We all face difficult economic times. But the most vulnerable people are hit hardest. CERF is the tried and tested way to help them," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for donations to the world body's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
CERF is a United Nations success story, and it prioritizes those most likely to be marginalized and left behind, including people with disabilities, older people, women and girls, Guterres told a high-level pledging event for CERF for 2023.
In the past 16 years, 140 member states, regional local authorities, observers, nongovernmental organizations and private donors have donated generously to CERF. But during those 16 years, the number of people in need has risen tenfold, he noted.
"This is why we need a 1-billion-U.S. dollar CERF, as the General Assembly has acknowledged. Yet the resources received have reached nowhere near that level," he said.
"We all face difficult economic times. But the most vulnerable people are hit hardest. CERF is the tried and tested way to help them," he said.
Since CERF was set up 16 years ago, it has proved to be one of the fastest and most effective ways to finance global humanitarian action. CERF enables UN agencies and their partners to swiftly launch and scale up responses to evolving crises and underfunded emergencies, said Guterres.
Humanitarian needs have risen to record levels in recent years. In crises around the world, CERF gives people a lifeline of hope. In 2022, CERF provided more than 700 million dollars for life-saving assistance to people in 40 countries. These funds were allocated in record speed, responding to the most urgent requests in a matter of hours, he said.
At a time of tough tests for the humanitarian sector, CERF's focus on under-funded crises was more important than ever. CERF allocated 250 million dollars to humanitarian operations in 23 underfunded countries, including Burkina Faso and Mali, he said. ■