Aid to Pakistan
In the aftermath of Pakistan’s devastating 2022 floods, many different groups have stepped up to provide humanitarian aid, including nations, NGOs and the Pakistani diaspora community.

The 2022 Pakistan Floods

Beginning in June 2022, a severe monsoon season in Pakistan led to historic flooding and landslides that swept through the nation, destroying towns and rendering millions of Pakistanis homeless. In total, the flooding has impacted at least 33 million people and left one-third of the nation underwater. In Karachi, authorities have reported outbreaks of cholera and dengue fever, with thousands of patients traveling to hospitals and public health centers for treatment.

Pakistani children in particular face vulnerability to waterborne diseases, and their education has experienced disruption as the floods have ravaged thousands of Pakistani schools. As of October 2022, 10 million children are now in need 0f life-saving support.

According to Pakistani authorities, the flood waters may not fully subside for months. More than 1,500 people have died since the floods began, and damages are estimated at more than $30 billion. Food scarcity is now a serious issue, as the flooding has devastated the nation’s agricultural sector. Amidst this catastrophic event for Pakistan, organizations are stepping up to provide lifesaving support to those affected, and to help the nation rebuild.

Nations and Humanitarian Organizations Supporting Pakistan

The U.S. government has allocated significant ongoing humanitarian aid to Pakistan. Since the crisis began, the U.S. military has flown more than 400 metric tons of supplies, which should assist at least 300,000 victims. Additionally, in August 2022, the U.S. government provided more than $30 million in relief assistance to Pakistan through USAID.

Additionally, the United Kingdom provided $1.8 million of aid in August. In a public statement, the late Queen Elizabeth II expressed that the “United Kingdom stands in solidarity with Pakistan” in its efforts to recover.

As of September, the U.N.’s Central Emergency Relief fund has pledged $10 million to Pakistan for public health measures such as preventing waterborne disease and improving access to clean water and food.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Relief Fund (UNICEF) is sending emergency medical supplies to women and children in the regions that have suffered the most destruction, specifically to combat malnutrition and waterborne illnesses. UNICEF has also underscored its commitment to ensuring children in the nation can resume their education as soon as possible.

The United Arab Emirates has been a leader in providing aid to Pakistan amidst the flooding, sending numerous planeloads of supplies through an ‘air bridge’ between the two nations. Emirates, a UAE airline, declared it would provide free cargo space on its passenger aircraft to fly additional aid to Pakistan.

Grassroots Efforts to Provide Relief to Pakistan

While large humanitarian efforts by governments and other bureaucracies are important, one should not overlook grassroots relief efforts.

In Atlanta, Pakistani immigrant Imran Khan is raising money to provide food, medicine and other emergency supplies to those affected by the flooding. Khan began his efforts by reaching out to friends and family members, but his fundraising mission quickly spread to the local community. He started an online fundraising campaign to continue delivering relief packages, where he has raised more than $3,000.

Sami Khan, the owner of an ice cream shop in Connecticut, held a fundraiser called ‘Pints for Pakistan,’ sending the day’s proceeds to UNICEF relief efforts. Hearing accounts from family and friends about the devastation caused in his homeland inspired Khan, who is originally from Pakistan to act. Dozens of community members, including a state representative, came to support the fundraiser.

The Importance of Continued Support

Procuring humanitarian aid to Pakistan is an ongoing process, and the efforts described here, as well as many others, are actively saving lives in Pakistan. As this crisis will not be over in the immediate future, continued public support for international aid is crucial.

– Oliver De Jonghe
Photo: Flickr

Cholera Outbreak in HaitiHaiti is a country in the Caribbean with a history of significant economic, political and social turmoil. Disease, natural disasters, violence, inflation, corruption and poverty are among the particularly relevant issues, hindering the nation’s overall growth. Haitians have been protesting against their government in hopes of change since 2018. However, recently, the protests have turned exceptionally violent following Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s announcement that the government would eliminate fuel subsidies in the nation, nearly doubling the cost of gas. Haiti can no longer afford to supply subsidies as fuel inflation is rising globally due to the Russo-Ukrainian war. And now there is another crisis to be addressed — a cholera outbreak in Haiti. 

Protest and Violence

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with approximately 52.3% of the Haitian population living below the poverty line, a 15.7% unemployment rate in 2021 and over $2 billion in external debt. The elimination of fuel subsidies has an immediate impact on the livelihood of millions of Haitians. In response to the policy change, gangs are firing gunshots on open roads, burning tires on city streets, ransacking and inflaming buildings, throwing stones and getting into physical altercations.

Many children are out of school, exacerbating earlier school closures from other protest-based violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the lack of fuel has already resulted in the shutdown of water delivery companies, banks and grocery stores and has caused a reduction of critical hospital-based services available to Haitians. Additionally, unemployment is also on the rise as workers are no longer able to afford the commute to their jobs.

Cholera Outbreak

Amid all this instability in Haiti comes a recent detection of a  cholera outbreak in the nation. Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial disease spread through contaminated food or water that causes severe dehydration and diarrhea. The previous cholera outbreak in Haiti was in 2010 and it had devastating consequences. There were more than 820,000 cases and nearly 10,000 deaths, many of which could have been prevented, had the country been equipped with better infrastructure.

As of October 6, 2022, there were 12 cholera cases, 152 suspected cases, 107 hospitalizations and four deaths in the country. In its current political and economic state, the nation cannot afford a widespread outbreak. This would result in the additional closure of essential businesses and ensure the closure of schools. The lack of education for Haiti’s youth in recent years is especially a cause for concern as oftentimes education can be the key to escaping extreme poverty.

Concluding Thoughts

Though both the outbreak and the protests are valid causes for concern, there is hope for the citizens of Haiti. On October 7, 2022, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund allocated $7 million for U.N. agencies and their partners to provide urgent life-saving assistance. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths stated that “We must stand with the people of Haiti in their hour of need, cholera is preventable and treatable. Left unchecked, however, an outbreak could lead to cataclysmic levels of despair for the people of Haiti, who are already enduring tremendous suffering.” Furthermore, Prime Minister Henry recently sent out a request for international aid in Haiti which the United Nations responded to stating it will “support efforts to build consensus, reduce violence and promote stability in the country.” Together, the world is working to relieve the crisis in Haiti.

– Aarika Sharma
Photo: Unsplash

Flooding in Pakistan
After massive flooding in Pakistan due to atypically strong monsoon rains and the Indus River overflowing, in August 2022, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s government unveiled a new mobile app to help those the disaster affected receive aid. The app comes as millions have experienced displacement and the Pakistani government has received millions of dollars in aid.

Prior to the flooding, the country had been seeing economic growth. Additionally, according to the World Bank, Pakistan reduced national poverty from 64.3% to 24.3% from 2001 to 2015. The World Bank credits economic diversification and expansion outside of the agriculture sector for the nation’s development. However, Pakistan has seen setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Business Standard, the pandemic led to a setback in the number of people living below the international poverty line. The publication announced that the poverty rate in Pakistan grew from 4.4% to 5.4% in 2020 and 3.9% in 2015.

The recent flooding posits a new roadblock and challenge for Pakistan’s economic growth and its people’s security. Now, the nation has created a technological solution in hopes to speed up recovery and provide support to its citizens.

The Damage that the Floods in Pakistan Caused

Recent satellite imaging shows a newly-formed lake more than 100 km wide in Pakistan’s Sindh Province after the rising waters subsided. The lake serves as a physical reminder of the devastation left behind by the flooding in Pakistan which has thrown millions of lives into flux and caused widespread poverty.

Per Business Standard, more than 1,000 people have died from the recent flooding in Pakistan, but tens of millions more were impacted by the disaster. Water destroyed and damaged nearly a million homes, leaving millions without access to electricity, clean water or shelter. Per UNICEF, more than 664,000 have had to live in displacement camps scattered throughout the country while they await restitution.

As recently as 2018, agriculture made up more than 18% of Pakistan’s economy, with a majority of it being biased toward livestock, which makes it the largest sector of the Pakistani economy.

Reports noted that the flooding in Pakistan has killed more than 7 million livestock and rendered millions of acres of farmable land unusable, leaving many across the country without their primary source of income.

Foreign Aid and the Flood Reporting Mobile Application

In response to the flooding in Pakistan, there has been an outpouring of aid and support from the international community. The U.N. has sent $2.6 million to Pakistan, and its Central Emergency Response Fund plans to send $3 million more to help with recovery efforts.

Countries within the Islamic world have been particularly supportive of Pakistan’s healing. The United Arab Emirates has planned to send 15 planes with supplies to the country. Turkey and its Red Crescent Society have provided supplies like mosquito nets and tents for families displaced by the disaster. The NGO Qatar charity has given aid to more than 9,000 Afghan refugees and members of the Balochistan province affected by the flooding.

To help in distributing the aid it has received, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which was among the provinces that the flooding in Pakistan hit the worst according to NASA’s satellite imaging, has released a mobile app for its citizens to use to report flood damage and request aid. According to Provincial Minister for Science and Information Technology Atif Khan, the app is primarily for requesting food and medical services.

The app is simple in its design and relatively straightforward in its use. Upon opening the app, the user sees the provincial government’s logo and then goes to the screen for reporting. From there, users can file reports, view new and historic reports and examine completed reports. According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority and relevant district administration respond to each claim.

Khan has said that the provincial government takes “urgent steps” in response to each user’s request for aid, though he has not provided a specific timetable for when the steps should be fulfilled or the specifics of what it has been able to provide users.

One issue with the app is that many of those that may need aid the most in Pakistan do not have easy access to regular electricity or WI-FI due to the damage caused by flooding, which makes it difficult to download and run the Flood Reporting Mobile Application. However, for those that can use it, the app connects them to support in a time when disaster has divided the nation.

– Ryan Morton
Photo: Flickr

DOLE Graduation Program
Many developing countries suffered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with the Philippines being one of them. The past few years left about 19.99 million Filipinos below the poverty line recorded in 2021. Not only did the pandemic affect families but projections also stated that the Philippines’ GDP would decrease by about 11.5% during the timeline of the pandemic. The DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) Graduation Program in the Philippines, whose purpose is to lead participants into self-sustainability and out of poverty has taken place and proved to be positive even among those latest struggles.

Needed Aide For the Philippines

The Philippines had initiatives and organizations set up even before the pandemic that was working on poverty reduction. UNICEF is one organization with several efforts already in place in the Philippines. For example, it teamed up with CERF (United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund) and Plan International to push the WASH initiative which helps with hygiene and healthier living conditions.

However, even with programs like that, there was still a need for assistance in other ways. Among hygiene health, resources and training for the Filipinos to learn how to manage their livelihoods themselves seemed like the next step.

DOLE Graduation Program

Fortunately, a pilot program called the Graduation program that BRAC started in 2002, was yielding positive results. More than 2 million households had graduated from the program and were out of extreme poverty as a result.

The purpose of the program is to give support and aid through various means like cash transfers. The program also helps find health resources and provides training or mentorship for financial management and long-term resiliency skills. Not just economically but also socially; the program has coached for the participants to learn how to navigate and gain resources through city links or their government.

This type of program is what the people of the Negros Occidental municipalities could benefit from. So, the DOLE had been partnering with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and BRAC UPGI (Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative) to instill this working program in their community. The goal was to help their people become self-stainable and work their way out of poverty like the others in the initial pilot program.

Graduation Initiative in the Philippines

The DOLE Graduation Program for the Philippines began in 2018, reaching about 1,800 participants. The fundamental goal was to put these beneficiaries on a path toward sustainability and have long-term effects even after it would end. According to the BRAC’s country brief, the program ended in September 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic had made many wonders if the program’s desired effects were able to sustain throughout and after it.


For the DOLE graduation pilot to survive during the epidemic they had to adapt. Coaching and peer meetings had to become remote or change in frequency or size. The program included many other measures to ensure safety for all those involved including digital monitoring, and strong communication between workers/participants. Workers also used PPE and participated in training on safety protocols like reporting symptoms and rescheduling meetings if needed or conducting them from a distance.

Through the hygiene training that was already being implemented, the participants were able to quickly handle the COVID-19 pandemic more effectively. There were even cases where participants with food assistance from the initiative were able to feed themselves and other neighbors too during the pandemic.


The results of the DOLE Graduation pilot program and its adaptability have been positive for the participants. In the ADB assessment of the Graduation program households receiving the interventions along with government help, fared better during the COVID-19 pandemic than regular households. Other results from the assessment showed specific numbers, “The pilot project’s regular monitoring system found that, on average, 71% of households met each of the nine criteria under the four pillars of graduation—social protection, financial inclusion, livelihoods promotion and social empowerment.”

BRAC had also started its Rapid Diagnostic Assessment to monitor the participants even during the quarantine and mark down assistance or data. Through this, the pilot participants used the training and resources they received to find government assistance when necessary like the 96% who were able to go and find cash assistance from the government or two-thirds (67.15%) of participants able to keep up earnings and their occupation/livelihoods compared to a smaller amount in April (48.72%), according to BRAC’s bulletin.

The financial literacy training given displayed pilot participants withstanding the financial hardships during the pandemic. Seventy-five percent of the participants had savings to even use at this time compared to the 29% that originally reported in the beginning, according to the bulletin.

The Future

The Philippines DOLE Graduation pilot program has shown long-term impact and resilience during the COVID-pandemic for the Negro Occidental municipalities. This in turn has made the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), adopt the learnings of the pilot and instill the full Graduation program in other provinces of the Philippines, according to the country’s report. BRAC also has a worldwide goal to reach around 4.6 million more households by 2026.

– Marynette Holmes
Photo: Flickr

5 Facts About Poverty in Comoros
Comoros continues to struggle today with extreme poverty, unemployment and a severe wealth gap. The country has undergone more than 20 successful or attempted coups, as well as facing a devastating cyclone. Poverty in Comoros continues to require immediate attention. Here are five facts about poverty in Comoros.

5 Facts About Poverty in Comoros

  1. Poverty in Comoros affects almost half the population. The African Development Bank Group reports that 44.1% of people in Comoros live in poverty and they typically earn only 25,341 Comorian francs or less monthly. In addition, 23.5% of people in Comoros live in extreme poverty. However, data from The World Bank places “Comoros ahead of other low-income countries and 30 percentage points ahead of other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
  2. Rural areas suffer disproportionately compared with urban areas. Comoros’s economy relies primarily on agriculture. Its three main export crops are vanilla, cloves and ylang-ylang. Additionally, agriculture accounts for 50% of Comoros’s GDP and supports most of its workforce. However, the country’s rural areas are typically its poorest and about 50% of Comoros’s people do not have enough to eat.
  3. Education in Comoros faces challenges. In 2018, Comoros reported a secondary education enrollment rate of 59.47% of all eligible children. In addition, only 58.82% of people in Comoros older than 15 years old could claim literacy in 2018. This is low compared to the global average of 86.3% for this age group.
  4. Relief efforts for Cyclone Kenneth could improve poverty in Comoros. When Cyclone Kenneth passed through Comoros in 2019, 345,000 people felt its effects. As a result, seven people died, and 182 experienced an injury. Moreover, 19,372 people found themselves displaced, and the cyclone completely destroyed 213 classrooms. This natural disaster further damaged an already insufficient economy and educational system. In response to this disaster, CERF allocated $13 million to relieve those that Cyclone Kenneth affected. The money is going toward providing food, shelter and other necessities to those suffering the effects of Kenneth, and rebuilding schools. UNICEF has also stepped in to help, joining efforts with Educate a Child to educate more than 3.3 million children in numerous African nations, including Comoros.
  5. Tourism could have a positive impact on Comoros. For years, as a result of its history of unrest and political instability, the world economy has neglected Comoros’s tourism sector. However, with its beautiful beaches, Comoros stands to gain much from an increase in tourism. This change would allow the country to become less reliant on its agricultural sector. Additionally, it might help provide food that the population desperately needs. Comoros exports 70% of its food, a number that could decrease with a rise in tourism.

Looking Ahead

Comoros is still recovering from the effects of its deeply-rooted poverty and of Cyclone Kenneth. The country faces poverty-related challenges in rural areas as well as in the education sector. Cyclone Kenneth exacerbated existing conditions. However, organizations like UNICEF and CERF are stepping in to help address the impacts of the cyclone. Increases in tourism also appear to be an untapped economic sector that could lead to positive changes in Comoros. 

Will Sikich
Photo: Flickr

Fighting Global PovertyPeople helping people. Country helping country. Giving back to the world is not a strange concept and is a welcomed idea in most societies. A popular form of global help is foreign aid. The umbrella term commonly refers to monetary assistance provided by outlying or foreign governments. The funds are generally distributed through humanitarian organizations, non-profit groups or directly from a foreign government. As such, the aid is given to citizens in an abundance of forms, such as money, food or shelter. While some can afford to provide more than others on a purely numeric comparison, the amounts are measured or valued differently depending on the country’s economic standing. This list consists of five countries fighting global poverty who outshine the rest.

Top Five Countries Fighting Global Poverty

  1. Norway begins the list as it provides the largest amount of foreign aid in comparison to its GDP. The government put 1.11 percent of its GDP towards global humanitarian aid, spending NOK 455 million as of 2018. The country utilizes organizations such as the U.N.’s CERF (Central Emergency Response Fund), the Red Crescent Movement and the Red Cross. Recently, Norway channeled much of their funds into CERF in order to assist Venezuela in its growing refugee crisis. Norway’s contributions towards these programs effectively fight against global poverty and prove the nation should be in the top five, as its generosity in comparison to its national budget is the highest in the world.
  2. Luxembourg also contributes a significant portion of their GDP towards humanitarian and foreign affairs. Approximately 1 percent of their national budget, or about USD 413 million, is used for aid. Some of Luxembourg’s projects include poverty reduction through community development in Laos, education improvement in Burkina Faso and health care in Nicaragua. These countries receive specific help from various agencies and organizations like LuxDev and the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs. These groups and projects, though just a few select examples, show how much effort Luxemborg puts in fighting poverty.
  3. Sweden comes forward as another example of a smaller country with a smaller budget who still makes a grand impact in the world. As about 1.04 percent of its GDP, or about USD 5.8 billion, is used for humanitarian and foreign aid, Sweden holds a top ranking. While the money touches on a broad range of topics, from civil rights to education, specific Swedish projects focus on poverty issues. For instance, Sweden recently provided aid to Somalia for drought relief through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund. Sweden makes a mark on the world by not only tackling larger, conceptual issues, but by also responding quickly to disasters and world events. Such assistance highlights the country’s proficiency in the fight against global poverty.
  4. The United States is a leader in fighting global poverty as it contributes the most money towards humanitarian and foreign aid. Within the past few years alone, the U.S. contributed USD 30 billion towards various forms of international aid. The nation utilizes several different federal agencies, non-profit groups and other organizations to distribute aid. The U.S. commonly works with popular organizations such as UNICEF or the Red Cross. A prime example of the U.S. effect on the world is with the sheer number of countries it provides for, as it touches nearly 40 different nations, including Pakistan and Mexico.
  5. Germany also provides a significant amount of aid with nearly USD 20 billion contributed towards humanitarian projects in recent years. This accounts for nearly 0.70 percent of the national budget. Popular organizations and agencies include the World Food Program, which Germany utilized to provide relief to Africa. In addition to such organizations, Germany is known to donate large amounts of money to other countries, a notable example being Syria in recent years due to their ongoing crisis. Germany’s monetary generosity also makes it the second-largest donor in the world to foreign aid, falling in just behind the U.S.

Whether it’s a natural disaster or political turmoil, when a country is in need, surrounding neighbors will often step up to help.

– Eleanora Kamerow
Photo: Flickr

CERF releases $50 Million in Humanitarian Aid to Six Neglected Crises
U.N. officials released $50 million to respond to underfunded aid operations in six neglected emergencies worldwide. The aid will be distributed by the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), providing assistance to two million people in need.

The funding will allow U.N. partners to respond to emergencies in Central Africa, benefitting aid operations in the Central African Republic, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Rwanda will also receive financial assistance as it is hosting refugees from Burundi and DRC. In the Middle East, funding will boost relief operations in Yemen and Eritrea.

The funds, which began being released in August, bring CERF’s 2016 allocated funds to $150 million. Stephen O’Brien, U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator, calls the release of these funds, “a lifeline for those caught in forgotten crises.” The global refugee situation has put a great deal of pressure on CERF to provide humanitarian aid to millions of people fleeing conflicts in unstable parts of the world.

CERF will allocate $9 million to the Central African Republic, which is home to one of the world’s poorest populations and was plunged into civil unrest when rebels seized power in 2013. Currently, the nation is undergoing a supervised transition involving a constitutional referendum as well as presidential and parliamentary elections.

Chad, which has been home to civil war, drought and famine for the past twenty years, will receive $10 million. Without a stable government authority, the nation has reached a climate of near anarchy. This has allowed terrorist cells like Boko Haram to exploit the impoverished and leaderless people of Chad and wreak havoc on the region.

The DRC will receive $11 million from CERF. There, tensions are high as political and religious leaders, activists, students and others have spoken in opposition to proposed changes to the nation’s constitution. The government in the DRC seeks to silence dissent through threats, violence and arbitrary arrests. In the east, dozens of militant groups operate despite committing numerous war crimes for which they have not been held accountable.

Rwanda will receive $5 million from CERF and has a history of ethnic strife that includes government-sponsored genocide where some 800 thousand people were exterminated by the dominant group in the mid-1990s. Today, Rwanda focuses on building an economy based on coffee and tea production. This is a country that seems to be on the rise and one that is home to nearly 145,000 refugees.

CERF will allocate $13 million to Yemen, a country on the brink of civil war as forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi are fighting against Zaidi Shia rebels known as Houthis. The Houthis forced the president to flee the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in February. Yemen is the Arabian peninsula’s poorest nation, and home to some 21 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

Lastly, CERF will allocate $2 million to humanitarian aid in Eritrea. Thousands of Eritreans flee the country each month as a result of what the U.N. is calling “systemic, widespread and gross human rights violations.” Eritrea requires indefinite military conscription in which people are subject to forced labor, arbitrary arrests are common, as is torture and degradation of prisoners.

These six nations are in the midst of deep conflict, and their people are suffering as a result. CERF exists to promote early action and response to reduce the loss of life, enhance response to time-critical requirements and to strengthen core elements of humanitarian response in underfunded crises. These regions in the world may not receive the news coverage that they deserve, but with CERF’s help made possible by your donations, they may receive the assistance that they need.

Aaron Parr

Photo: Flickr

UN Central Emergency Response FundIn December of 2012, the United Nations had called for financial support for the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which has financed humanitarian programs that saved millions of lives. Donors pledged $384 million for 2013. On January 21, the United Nations announced that $100 million was to be allocated to 12 poorly-funded crises around the world.

Since 2006, the UN CERF has helped speed up relief efforts by collecting donations to ensure that programs providing life-saving assistance receive adequate funding. Since then, the Fund has managed to secure a total of $900 million to address crises. In 2012, CERF allocated a total of $465 million to programs delivering humanitarian aid in 49 countries including Syria, South Sudan, Haiti and Pakistan, the highest amount allocated in a year.

On December 11, 2012, in a statement at the high-level CERF conference, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, praised the Fund’s work in aiding those affected by crises. “CERF’s support has been critical to saving the lives and livelihoods of millions of people throughout the world,” Amos said. “It has bolstered the transformative agenda, which aims to strengthen humanitarian response, and our efforts to have a robust and well-coordinated UN-led humanitarian response in support of national efforts.”

Amos reviewed CERF’s work in supporting Syrians in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, refugees in South Sudan, and disaster response in Haiti and Cuba post-Hurricane Sandy. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had also praised the fund’s range of services: “From flood zones to war zones, CERF stops crises from turning into catastrophes.”  Ban Ki-Moon emphasized the Fund’s ability to mobilize funds “in stubbornly under-funded situations” through its “quick, targeted support” mechanism.

CERF supports the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen. CERF selection criteria include humanitarian needs and analysis of funding levels. These situations include the Sahrawi refugee operation in Algeria, life-saving programs in Eritrea and agencies working in Afghanistan.

The objective is to target ‘forgotten’ or ‘neglected’ emergencies. A second round of allocating funding will follow in July 2013. Amos reiterated that the CERF continues to help millions of people “after the media spotlight fades.” She hopes more governments will cooperate with CERF in providing funds to those trapped in “hidden emergencies.”

“CERF is more than a message from the international community – it is a real help for the most vulnerable members of our human family,” concluded Ki-Moon.

– Rafael Panlilio

Source: UN NewsUN NewsOCHA