UN humanitarian fund reaches $450 mn in 2008

December 31st, 2008 - 11:12 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Dec 31 (DPA) Some 81 governments have contributed $450 million to the UN reserve fund for humanitarian assistance in 2008, reaching its target for the first time since the fund was established two years ago, the UN has said. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) was created by the UN General Assembly to help people needing urgent assistance when hit by natural disasters or humanitarian emergencies.

CERF has disbursed $1.1 billion since 2006, drawing from $1.5 billion contributed by more than 100 governments and private donors.

A number of states have already pledged $380 million for 2009, the UN said Tuesday.

“The generosity of member states and non-state donors has enabled the international community to strengthen significantly its ability to respond to humanitarian emergencies around the world,” said John Holmes, the UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.

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