Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, TD, today announced a contribution of €10 million to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), a global humanitarian fund that assists people trapped in humanitarian crises.
At the same time, Minister Brophy pledged €3.2 million towards the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Speaking about Ireland’s contribution, the Minister said:
“In 2020, OCHA stepped up to the extraordinary challenge of coordinating the global humanitarian response to COVID-19. Effective coordination meant that the global response was fast and effective—delivering life-saving humanitarian aid and protection to over 98 million people. The CERF became a beacon of solidarity and a lifeline to millions of vulnerable people, particularly women and girls.
“As the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 deepens in developing countries, humanitarian needs continue to grow. The UN estimates that in 2021 over 237 million people across 56 countries are in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance. The role of OCHA and the CERF has never been so important. I am therefore delighted to announce our joint contribution of €13.2 million for 2021.”
Through a network of 30 country offices and five regional hubs, OCHA coordinates humanitarian action to ensure crisis-affected people receive the assistance and protection they need. The result is a global humanitarian response that works in the most severe humanitarian crises, targets the most vulnerable people, and prioritises the most pressing needs. OCHA also works tirelessly to secure safe access to conflict-affected and hard-to-reach areas.
OCHA manages the CERF, which responds to sudden onset and deteriorating emergencies, as well as underfunded situations. In 2020, it disbursed over half a billion dollars to 45 humanitarian crises around the globe. This supported life-saving support in the areas of health, emergency food distributions, shelter, water and sanitation, and education.
Minister Brophy added:
“OCHA and the CERF are the backbone of humanitarian responses across the globe. Already in 2021 OCHA has coordinated the response of the humanitarian community to escalating violence in Ethiopia, Gaza, and Mozambique, as well as the volcanic eruption in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In the first five months of this year, the CERF has allocated almost $210 million to 18 humanitarian crises, including Afghanistan, Fiji, Somalia, and South Sudan. Ireland is very proud of its long-standing support to OCHA and the CERF.”