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Estonian Contribution to UN Central Emergency Response Fund Helps Aid Reach Victims of Disasters Quickly

19.12.2011

No. 417 –E

Yesterday in New York at the donor meeting of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which was also attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that extremely well co-ordinated co-operation is required to resolve natural disasters and humanitarian crises that keep growing in scale. “The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund plays a vital role in getting humanitarian aid to arrive in time,” he said. “Estonia was one of CERF’s first supporters and has made annual donations since the organisation was created in 2006. Next year, 2012, we plan to support the fund with 75 000 euros,” Paet stated at the donor conference.

The foreign minister stated that when a disaster strikes, CERF is the first responder and provider of aid. However, its activities are also entirely dependent on voluntary donations. “Therefore a constant flow of donations into the fund is necessary for CERF’s future work and for increasing the UN’s humanitarian aid capabilities,” he said. “This way we can provide actual aid to those in need in crisis zones and improve the everyday life of people in those places where help is needed most,” he added. Paet stated that Estonia has gradually increased its donation to CERF each year.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said at the donor conference that CERF is a UN success story. “The money donated to CERF is guaranteed to go to those who need it most. For hundreds of thousands of people in the world, CERF funds literally mean the difference between life and death,” said the UN secretary general.

The goal of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which started its work in March 2006, is to allow UN humanitarian aid organisations to provide quick and timely aid so people who have been struck by a conflict situation or natural disaster can survive. Resources from the fund, which is managed by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, are distributed to UN organisations, programmes and agencies that deal with humanitarian crises so that they can get to work as soon as a disaster strikes.

Photos: www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/

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