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    Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of UN convened a high-level pledging event on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for 2023

    Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of UN convened a high-level pledging event on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for 2023

    Chitral Times Report

    ISLAMAABAD: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) convened a high-level pledging event on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for 2023. The purpose of the event was to galvanize greater commitments and ensure the CERF remains fit to respond to the increasing levels and complexities of global humanitarian needs, says a press release received here today from New York. Pakistan has been the 10th-largest CERF recipient since 2006 and ranks 19th among CERF recipients in 2022. This year, CERF allocated $10 million through its Rapid Response window to Pakistan to support people across the country affected by floods and landslides caused by heavy monsoon. Pakistan has also regularly contributed to CERF between 2006 and 2021.

    Pakistan was invited to share their perspective on why CERF is a good investment for countries that also receive CERF funding, also to comment on how CERF has supported people affected by floods and landslides? Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Hina Rabbani Khar made remarks virtually during the Panel Discussion of CERF High-Level Pledging Event She thanked the Secretary General of the United Nations, H.E. Antonio Guterres, and the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths for organizing the event. She made following key points: – ‘we are entangled in a web of inter-connected crises. There is an inflation shock that emanates from supply-chain disruptions which have been caused by the pandemic and on-going conflicts. – Conflicts in turn are related to the breakdown in relations among great powers.

    All the while, the largest global food crises in modern history is brewing. Slow growth, rising inequality and accumulating debt have undermined political stability in many countries. Adding to these stresses, and not in any way less consequential, is the looming threat of climate catastrophe. -All these factors have given rise to both immediate and long-term humanitarian needs. For decades, humanitarian financing has grown incrementally. It has grown exponentially in recent years. Often, humanitarian help has susceptible to political considerations that should have no place in determining how we extend help to the more than 200 million children, women and men who today rely on international goodwill and generosity to make it through to the next sunrise. -The Global Humanitarian Overview for 2023 was launched a week ago. The report projects that a record 339 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection.

    There is a funding requirement of $51.5 billion to assist 230 million people most in need across 68 countries. Requirements are overtaking resources. Despite the record-high funding reached for the year 2022, there is still a gap of $20 billion. Specifically, to emergency humanitarian funding, she said that: – Whether it is a conflict situation or onset of a natural disaster, the immediate needs are always the most challenging and critical. A prompt response and anticipatory approach to the onset of a humanitarian emergency can save lives and minimize damage to infrastructure. – In this regard, CERF is a lifeline. It has served as a lifeline to my people affected by the recent devastating floods. It is the speediest and most flexible funding mechanism in the UN. –

    The destruction caused by floods in Pakistan is now cited as an exemplar of climate change. The total damage to infrastructure is above US$40 billion. We have lost more than 1,700 precious lives, including more than 600 those of children. Rains have washed away whole villages leaving tens of millions in need of immediate, lifesaving support. – During these testing times, being one of the earliest responders and even before the launch of UN Flash Appeal, CERF had allocated $3 million on 19 August 2022 from its Rapid Response Window for the immediate commencement of life-saving activities. Consequent to the UN Flash Appeal, the ERC allocated a further $7 million as a top-up which has resulted in a total allocation of $10 million which is enabling UN agencies and partners to provide life-saving assistance in the sectors of health, nutrition, food security and sanitation to 238,000 of the most vulnerable people affected by the floods. – Indeed, Pakistan has remained a beneficiary of the fund and received help in life-saving humanitarian activities during displacements, droughts, weather emergencies and floods, since the fund’s inception in 2006.

    The robust cooperation between government authorities and CERF remains one of the keys to its success in Pakistan. She suggested that: an effective emergency response system should comprise certain necessary elements: First, it should be time responsive. Political uncertainty and geostrategic miscalculations can lead to the sudden onset of crisis situations. Unfortunately, we are witnessing such situations – from East Africa to Afghanistan to Ukraine. Similarly, studies are now showing that rising temperatures intensify the unpredictability of weather in the face of climate change phenomenon. Therefore, an agile and quick response at critical junctures would remain crucial. Secondly, an emergency response system should follow a strategic approach, which steers a system-wide pivot towards both anticipatory and responsive action to enable people to get ahead of crises so they can protect their assets and avoid long-term losses. Thirdly, the system should be principled.

    Emergency assistance, by its very nature, must be “unconditional” i.e. it cannot be made subject to political or other considerations. Furthermore, all humanitarian assistance including emergency assistance, cannot be counted as “Official Development Assistance”, or reduce the obligations of developed countries to provide 0.7% of their GNI as ODA. CERF’s Rapid Response Window and Underfunded Emergency Window, both fulfill the above criteria of an efficient emergency response system. Finally, an effective emergency response system would be well-funded. In 2016, the General Assembly endorsed Secretary-General’s call to increase CERF’s annual funding target to $1 billion. In a humanitarian landscape that becomes ever more complex, a strong CERF can make a real difference in the ability of the humanitarian system to respond to the emergency needs that only continue to grow in scale and severity.

    Therefore, it is important that we reach the funding target of $ 1 billion at the earliest. In her concluding remarks, she said that: – This year as a demonstration of our continued confidence in this crucial UN humanitarian support mechanism, despite financial constraints, as a token of goodwill and appreciation for the dedicated work undertaken through the fund, we are pleased to announce a modest contribution of USD $10,000 . We encourage others, including the Fund’s beneficiaries, to also contribute. Let us make CERF truly a fund for all, by all. The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) High-level Pledging Event (HLPE) for 2023 aimed to mobilize financial resources to ensure the CERF is well positioned (as one of the most effective financing tools) to provide time-critical, life-saving humanitarian assistance. The event included opening remarks by UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mr. Martin Griffiths, followed by a high-level panel discussion. After the panel, Member States and partners will be given the opportunity to take the floor for interventions, followed by closing remarks. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar made remarks during the Panel Discussion of CERF High-Level Pledging Event (09 December 2022) New York The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) convened a high-level pledging event on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for 2023.

    The purpose of the event was to galvanize greater commitments and ensure the CERF remains fit to respond to the increasing levels and complexities of global humanitarian needs. Pakistan has been the 10th-largest CERF recipient since 2006 and ranks 19th among CERF recipients in 2022. This year, CERF allocated $10 million through its Rapid Response window to Pakistan to support people across the country affected by floods and landslides caused by heavy monsoon. Pakistan has also regularly contributed to CERF between 2006 and 2021. Pakistan was invited to share their perspective on why CERF is a good investment for countries that also receive CERF funding, also to comment on how CERF has supported people affected by floods and landslides? Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar made remarks virtually during the Panel Discussion of CERF High-Level Pledging Event She thanked the Secretary General of the United Nations, H.E. Antonio Guterres, and the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths for organizing the event. She made following key points: – ‘we are entangled in a web of inter-connected crises.

    There is an inflation shock that emanates from supply-chain disruptions which have been caused by the pandemic and on-going conflicts. – Conflicts in turn are related to the breakdown in relations among great powers. All the while, the largest global food crises in modern history is brewing. Slow growth, rising inequality and accumulating debt have undermined political stability in many countries. Adding to these stresses, and not in any way less consequential, is the looming threat of climate catastrophe. -All these factors have given rise to both immediate and long-term humanitarian needs. For decades, humanitarian financing has grown incrementally. It has grown exponentially in recent years. Often, humanitarian help has susceptible to political considerations that should have no place in determining how we extend help to the more than 200 million children, women and men who today rely on international goodwill and generosity to make it through to the next sunrise. – The Global Humanitarian Overview for 2023 was launched a week ago. The report projects that a record 339 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection.

    There is a funding requirement of $51.5 billion to assist 230 million people most in need across 68 countries. Requirements are overtaking resources. Despite the record-high funding reached for the year 2022, there is still a gap of $20 billion. Specifically, to emergency humanitarian funding, she said that: – Whether it is a conflict situation or onset of a natural disaster, the immediate needs are always the most challenging and critical. A prompt response and anticipatory approach to the onset of a humanitarian emergency can save lives and minimize damage to infrastructure. – In this regard, CERF is a lifeline. It has served as a lifeline to my people affected by the recent devastating floods. It is the speediest and most flexible funding mechanism in the UN. – The destruction caused by floods in Pakistan is now cited as an exemplar of climate change. The total damage to infrastructure is above US$40 billion. We have lost more than 1,700 precious lives, including more than 600 those of children. Rains have washed away whole villages leaving tens of millions in need of immediate, lifesaving support. – During these testing times, being one of the earliest responders and even before the launch of UN Flash Appeal, CERF had allocated $3 million on 19 August 2022 from its Rapid Response Window for the immediate commencement of life-saving activities.

    Consequent to the UN Flash Appeal, the ERC allocated a further $7 million as a top-up which has resulted in a total allocation of $10 million which is enabling UN agencies and partners to provide life-saving assistance in the sectors of health, nutrition, food security and sanitation to 238,000 of the most vulnerable people affected by the floods. – Indeed, Pakistan has remained a beneficiary of the fund and received help in life-saving humanitarian activities during displacements, droughts, weather emergencies and floods, since the fund’s inception in 2006. The robust cooperation between government authorities and CERF remains one of the keys to its success in Pakistan. She suggested that: an effective emergency response system should comprise certain necessary elements: First, it should be time responsive. Political uncertainty and geostrategic miscalculations can lead to the sudden onset of crisis situations. Unfortunately, we are witnessing such situations – from East Africa to Afghanistan to Ukraine. Similarly, studies are now showing that rising temperatures intensify the unpredictability of weather in the face of climate change phenomenon.

    Therefore, an agile and quick response at critical junctures would remain crucial. Secondly, an emergency response system should follow a strategic approach, which steers a system-wide pivot towards both anticipatory and responsive action to enable people to get ahead of crises so they can protect their assets and avoid long-term losses. Thirdly, the system should be principled. Emergency assistance, by its very nature, must be “unconditional” i.e. it cannot be made subject to political or other considerations. Furthermore, all humanitarian assistance including emergency assistance, cannot be counted as “Official Development Assistance”, or reduce the obligations of developed countries to provide 0.7% of their GNI as ODA. CERF’s Rapid Response Window and Underfunded Emergency Window, both fulfill the above criteria of an efficient emergency response system. Finally, an effective emergency response system would be well-funded. In 2016, the General Assembly endorsed Secretary-General’s call to increase CERF’s annual funding target to $1 billion.

    In a humanitarian landscape that becomes ever more complex, a strong CERF can make a real difference in the ability of the humanitarian system to respond to the emergency needs that only continue to grow in scale and severity. Therefore, it is important that we reach the funding target of $ 1 billion at the earliest. In her concluding remarks, she said that: – This year as a demonstration of our continued confidence in this crucial UN humanitarian support mechanism, despite financial constraints, as a token of goodwill and appreciation for the dedicated work undertaken through the fund, we are pleased to announce a modest contribution of USD $10,000 . We encourage others, including the Fund’s beneficiaries, to also contribute. Let us make CERF truly a fund for all, by all.

    The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) High-level Pledging Event (HLPE) for 2023 aimed to mobilize financial resources to ensure the CERF is well positioned (as one of the most effective financing tools) to provide time-critical, life-saving humanitarian assistance. The event included opening remarks by UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mr. Martin Griffiths, followed by a high-level panel discussion. After the panel, Member States and partners will be given the opportunity to take the floor for interventions, followed by closing remarks.

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