Minister of State Lenihan announces €10 million pledge to UN emergency fund
World Food Day
Minister Lenihan announces €10 million pledge to UN emergency fund
Mr. Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today pledged €10 million to the planned new Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which will be administered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, headed by Mr. Jan Egeland.
The CERF has been in place for some time as a loan mechanism for humanitarian response but some concern has been expressed about its effectiveness. Proposals are expected to be tabled soon to substantially increase the value of the Fund from its current level ($50 million) and to make it more capable of responding quickly and effectively to humanitarian disasters through grant assistance.
Making the announcement at Gorta's World Food Day Conference, Minister Lenihan said:
“Last weekend's earthquake in Pakistan served to a remind us of the need to equip the United Nations system to respond quickly and comprehensively to major humanitarian emergencies.
My announcement today is a clear recognition of that and it shows that Ireland is willing to play its part, not just in responding to emergencies as they occur but in strengthening the international community's capacity to respond.
Ireland and the UK jointly commissioned an independent report that has helped shape this new mechanism to enhance international response to sudden-onset emergencies.
Mr. Jan Egeland has presented an outline of how the new Fund will operate.
I and my officials have been in contact with Mr. Egeland and with other donors working out the precise details of how the reformed Fund will work.
I think it is important, at this stage, to signal Ireland's support for the reform process, as a number of other major donors have done including Sweden and the UK, by pledging substantial funding.
The Taoiseach announced in New York, in September, that Ireland will be devoting more resources to humanitarian emergencies. Today's announcement is part of that commitment.”
Note for Editors
The Central Emergency Revolving Fund was set up in 1992. It covers conflict related needs and natural disasters.
Currently, the CERF is a $50 million loan facility and all UN agencies can borrow funds from it.
A revised CERF would permit access to UN agencies on a grant basis.
The Secretary General's report In Larger Freedom, invited member states to look at the CERF as a potential tool to address forgotten emergencies and sudden onset crises.
Ireland and the UK commissioned a report on the modalities of reforming the existing CERF.
14th October 2005