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UN Emergency Fund Allocates US$50 Million to Neglected Aid Operations to Assist Two Million People in Dire Need

Today, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien, released US$50 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for severely underfunded aid operations in six neglected emergencies. The funds will provide life-saving assistance for two million people in dire humanitarian need, including 200,000 refugees, 665,000 internally displaced persons, 170,000 returnees and 530,000 people in host communities.

"This funding is a lifeline for the world's most vulnerable people caught up in forgotten crises," said USG O'Brien. "In recent years, the global refugee crisis has put enormous pressure on CERF to help millions of people fleeing conflicts that linger for lack of a political solution. This allocation is made possible by the generous contributions of donors who are committed to leave no one behind, and to helping us reach the furthest behind first."

Some US$35 million will allow humanitarian partners to respond to protracted humanitarian emergencies in central Africa, caused by armed conflicts, political instability and human rights violations, and compounded by food insecurity and disease outbreaks. The funds will support the delivery of critical health services, access to food, emergency shelter, protection of women and girls, water and sanitation, and essential logistics support. The allocation will benefit aid operations in the Central African Republic ($9 million), Chad ($10 million) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo ($11 million), as well as Rwanda ($5 million), which is hosting refugees from Burundi and DR Congo.

A further $13 million will boost relief operations in Yemen where an estimated 21.2 million people, over 82 per cent of the population, require humanitarian assistance. An allocation of $2 million will support humanitarian partners in Eritrea in responding to current needs due to arid conditions and poor rains. Additionally, gaps in health care, water, sanitation and hygiene services will be addressed.
This second round brings the total allocation from the CERF's underfunded emergencies window in 2016 to US$150 million. CERF has so far received $311 million in contributions for 2016 and disbursed nearly as much to 35 countries for life-saving activities around the world. As the UN and humanitarian partners work tirelessly to assist the most vulnerable, and with the humanitarian funding gap growing year after year, it is vital that resources are available for future life-saving response.

"All humanitarian emergencies are underfunded this year," warned the Emergency Relief Coordinator. "I wish I could allocate more CERF funds to these and other protracted crises, given the enormous needs. However, contributions to the Fund are limited and demand from humanitarian partners around the world is high. This year we are projecting a $50 million shortfall on the annual $450 million funding target. I am very concerned that this could force CERF to significantly reduce allocations for underfunded emergencies in the future. Today, I appeal to all Member States, regional organizations and private citizens to scale up their support to CERF and enable us to save more lives."

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).
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