On 14 December 2010 the annual conference for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) took place in New York. A total of 59 donors pledged US$358.4 million to the fund for 2011, a decrease of 16% on the money pledged at last year’s annual conference by 61 donors.
As has been seen in previous years the CERF continues to enable those donors, both governments and non-governments, without sufficient humanitarian aid architecture to contribute assistance. This is made apparent by the addition of new five donors to the CERF in 2011. There are three new government donors, Kyrgyzstan, the Gambia and Costa Rica however at present the figures are only known for Costa Rica, US$9,600, the other two are not therefore included in the pledge total. Other new donors to the fund include the regional government of Flanders that pledged US$0.4 million and the Turkish non-governmental organisation (NGO) Kimse Yok Mu Association with a pledge of US$10,000.
Although the total amount pledged is less than at last year’s conference the number of donors will more than not likely rise over the course of the year. In 2010 there are already 96 donors that have contributed a total of US$371.6 million. Yet funding may also be affected by the absence of traditionally large DAC donors such as Spain and Ireland that are currently experiencing economic and financial difficulties.
Most surprising of all however, is that there is a new top donor to the fund. Since the CERF commenced in 2006 the United Kingdom has contributed the largest amount each year, an average of US$71.6 million over the five year period. Unless the UK contributes more money later on in 2011 they will have to cede the top spot to Sweden that has increased its pledge by US$8 million on last year. Will this pattern also be reflected in the funding of the country-level pooled funds in 2011 where the UK has held the top spot for a number of years? We will have to watch this space …
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