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Central Emergency Response Fund

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what timetable he has set for the fulfilment of the Government's pledge to provide $1 for every $3 other donors have committed to the UN central emergency response fund in addition to the £40 million already paid. (90299)

The commitment to provide an additional UK contribution to the CERF of $1 for every $3 provided by others is triggered once the total amount contributed by other donors exceeds $210 million in the calendar year. At present, this total is $202 million. If it reaches $210 million by the end of December, our additional contribution will be triggered.

In January 2007, the second year of the CERF will start. The UK will again provide £40 million in line with our multi-year commitment of an additional £120 million over the next three years. If other donors provide more than $210 million next calendar year, our additional input will be triggered. We hope that this formula will remain an incentive for others to contribute to the CERF.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer to question 87467, on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), what estimate he has made of when the CERF will run out of funds if no further replenishment is forthcoming. (90516)

The main factors affecting the rate at which the CERF is used are the number of humanitarian crises occurring at any given time, and the extent to which donors are contributing additional funds. Six months after its launch, over half of the CERF funds have already been committed by the UN’s Emergency Relief Co-ordinator to support humanitarian crises across the world. In the unlikely event that other donors did not contribute for a second year to the Fund, we would estimate that the funds might run out in the second quarter of next year.

We are working with the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other like-minded donors to encourage others to continue to contribute to the CERF on a regular, and preferably multi-year, basis, so that it is constantly replenished. To assist in this process, OCHA is planning to hold the first donor replenishment conference on 7 December.

In addition to the initial £40 million commitment, the UK has committed a further £120 million to the CERF over the next three years.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer to question 87467, on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), whether there is a timetable for further funding announcements from (a) the UK and (b) UN members. (90517)

On 7 June 2006, I announced a further package of UK funding for the CERF, amounting to £120 million (£40 million per year) for the three years 2007-09. During this time, we will monitor closely the use and effectiveness of the CERF, and a decision on future UK funding will be taken in due course in the light of this.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which manages the CERF, plans to hold annual replenishment conferences at which donors may pledge further contributions to the CERF. This does not preclude announcements of further funding for the CERF at any other time. OCHA are tentatively proposing holding the first donor replenishment conference on 7 December this year.