UN Coordinated Emergency Response Fund in Humanitarian Situations

Today a meeting was held to discuss the use of the UN’s Coordinated Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in large-scale emergency situations. Beginning the meeting, Ms. Amos, the Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, spoke about CERF’s response and effectiveness in Syria, Central African Republic, and South Sudan. She said the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is increasing, and that CERF needs to systematically leverage the limited amounts of funding it has in order for its response to have the greatest impact in conflict areas.

Following, Mr. Mogwanja from UNICEF gave a statement about CERF’s partnership with UNICEF, and how CERF makes humanitarian responses faster, more predictable, and more coordinated. Since its launch in 2006, CERF has helped to shine a light on otherwise ignored emergency situations.

UFE Round I 2014

Next, Mr. Moustapha, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), emphasized how CERF can help respond to large scale cross boarder emergencies, like the humanitarian crisis in the DRC and the Central African Republic. Mr. Moustapha praised CERF for its flexibility, and its ability to efficiently unite and focus acute relief efforts in grave humanitarian situations. However, he called for CERF funds to be allocated in a more fair and inclusive manner, and for there to be a more serious reporting system on its progress.

Concluding the meeting, Mr. Guterres from UNHCR spoke about how to deal with a dramatic rise in the need for CERF funding. Population growth, climate change, water scarcity, and food insecurity are contributing to global humanitarian crises. New ways of funding for humanitarian situations are gravely needed. Mr. Guterres concluded the meeting by emphasizing that overall CERF works well because it is not bureaucratic, has low transaction costs, clear rules, and is speedy in its response.

 

Meeting Title: Use of CERF in Large-Scale Emergencies
Speakers: Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Mr. Martin Mogwanja, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF; Moustapha Soumare, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for the Democratic Republic of Congo; Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Date: 24 June 2014
Location: Conference Room 2, United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

Supporting the process of transition from Relief to Development

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Panellists exchanged their ideas towards better integrated planning and risk management, in particular the context of increasing funding streams to manage crisis risk. Mr. Mundele addressed four key points, including the humanitarian context in DRC, economic progress of Congo, history of the management and humanitarian framework in DRC, the mechanisms of economic stimulus and community resilience in post conflict. He emphasised the focus should be put on the prevention program of disaster risk to evaluate the Congo’s Framework for Action and develop the contribution of Africa to the establishment of the post-2015 framework.

Mr. Soumaré pointed out that humanitarian organisations and the Governments should plan and work together. “Government leadership is the key”, he said. Not only does it encourage humanitarian and development organizations to work more effectively, it also multiplies the impact. Mr. Jean noted that this is an important issue in Haiti; one of the most vulnerable countries, exposed to all sorts of catastrophes, including droughts, earthquakes, cyclones, etc. There are currently innovative approaches driven by Governments and the UN, however there is limited support from donors and a lack financing sources to develop innovative approaches to humanitarian work.

Mr. Clerg echoed Mr. Jean’s comments. He specifically focused on risk management in preventing humanitarian crisis. He concluded with three main calls for action. First, prioritizing countries at risk to ensure development aid goes to people and countries that are the most at risk. Next, humanitarian organisations should put high emphasis on managing the risk of crises, instead of just responding to its consequences. Lastly, crisis risk management should be prioritized in order to prevent and mitigate future humanitarian crises.

Meeting Title: Panel discussion on “Supporting the process of transition from relief to development: Funding and risk management”
Speakers: H.E. Ibrahim O. Dabbashi (Libya), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council; Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, Director, United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office; H.E. Charles Naweji Mundele, Minister of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and National Solidarity, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mr. Moustapha Soumaré, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mr. Yves-Robert Jean, Director-General, Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation, Haiti; Mr. Peter de Clerq, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Haiti
Location: ECOSOC Chambers, United Nations HQ, New York 
Date: 23 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark