Irish Aid Minister Conor Lenihan T.D. holds talks with UN Under Secretary General Jan Egeland
Minister announces a doubling of Ireland's contribution to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to €20 million
United Nations Under Secretary Jan Egeland, who has overall responsibility in the UN for Emergency Relief and Humanitarian Affairs, this afternoon visited Dublin to hold talks with Conor Lenihan TD, Minister of State for Irish Aid.
Under Secretary Egeland updated Minister Lenihan on the critical humanitarian emergencies in Africa – in Darfur, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Congo. They reviewed the first year of operation of the UN's key tool for tackling sudden emergencies – the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
Speaking following the meeting Minister Lenihan said:
“Already in its first year of operation, the CERF has proved its value in filling critical gaps in sudden onset emergencies.
The Fund has also proved vital in responding to hidden needs, to humanitarian situations outside the public eye and not on our TV screens. It is this balance which makes the CERF so important”.
For his part, Under Secretary Egeland thanked the Minister for Ireland's initial contribution of €10 million to the CERF in 2006 and for the Minister's pledge to double Ireland's contribution to the CERF in 2007 to €20 million.
Mr Egeland said “Ireland's contribution to the CERF has been particularly significant and we are grateful for Ireland's leadership as one of the highest per capita donors to the Fund. Ireland's reputation for compassion and generosity has set the standard for other donors”.
Note for Editors:-
The CERF is designed to provide a substantive response within 72 hours to any sudden emergency, and to provide critical funding for those forgotten crises which are no longer receiving public attention. In its first 5 months of operation, the CERF has provided more than $181 million for more than 270 projects in 26 countries.
Jan Egeland is a former Norweigan State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and is currently UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and the Emergency Relief Coordinator. He is head of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. He is responsible for overseeing the coordination of the UN's global humanitarian response, ensuring that all agencies work closely together to ensure quality aid delivery. His term of office draws to a close at the end of this year.
6 November 2006