United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has allocated US$75 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to boost life-saving relief work in two of the world’s most neglected regions: the West African Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
Eleven countries were selected based on a global review of critical aid operations that are facing funding deficits. “With so many crises competing for attention many people in need are forgotten. This allocation will help critical emergency operations in the Sahel and in the Horn of Africa, regions with high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. People are hungry. Their plight was front-page news just two years ago. These countries could fall back into crisis if we don’t help now,” said the Emergency Relief Coordinator.
This is the second of two annual rounds of allocations from the CERF Underfunded Emergencies window, designed to ensure life-saving relief work continues in countries where needs are high but financial support is low. The funding will help relief agencies provide urgent aid to millions of people in these regions affected by violent conflict, mass displacement and deepening food insecurity.
Countries in the Horn will receive US$44.5 million. The largest single allocation, $20 million, will go to Somalia, where 2.9 million people are struggling to feed themselves. Humanitarian agencies in Ethiopia, Kenya and Eritrea will receive $12 million, $10 million and $2.5 million, respectively. Another $30.5 million will allow aid agencies to boost emergency operations in seven countries in the Sahel: Niger ($8 million), Cameroon ($4.5 million) Senegal ($4.5 million), Burkina Faso ($4 million) Mauritania ($5 million), Nigeria ($3.5 million) and Gambia ($2.5 million).
With global humanitarian needs growing, this is the second consecutive year CERF is allocating $175 million for underfunded allocations, up from $150 million per year in 2012. When CERF was established in 2005, humanitarian appeals sought $6 billion in funding worldwide and by mid-2014, that amount has nearly tripled to $17 billion. Since its inception, CERF has allocated more than $3.4 billion for humanitarian agencies operating in 88 countries and territories.
“We thank our many donors for the $438 million pledged to CERF for 2014. This has helped us focus on the most critical funding gaps.” said Ms. Amos.