India Pledges $500,000 To UN Central Emergency Response Fund

By Reina Ilagan

Dec 15, 2016 08:39 AM EST

India has pledged support to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for 2016-2017. The $500,000 contribution announced by Indian diplomat and counsellor at India's UN Mission Anjani Kumar aims to help in improving international response which, India has noted, is falling significantly short amid global humanitarian crises.

He noted that over the past 10 years, the number of people requiring urgent humanitarian assistance worldwide has quadrupled. He stressed that immediate attention should be given to those needs because long term consequences can arise from the delay in providing assistance.

"Despite our own resource constraints, India has always been forthcoming within its ability and national circumstances in offering humanitarian assistance as per the needs and requests of our friends and partners," Kumar said.

"These efforts have ranged from immediate supply of relief materials to emergency evacuation of very large number of persons of various nationalities from danger zones," he added.

UN's outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, during the pledging session, made a plea for funds, and 29 countries responded by promising contributions that totaled $273 million. The annual target for the fund is $450 million, but he asked CERF to raise it to $1 billion by 2018. CERF pools contributions from governments, foundations, companies and charities.

"The scale of humanitarian deprivation is greater than at any time since the UN was founded. A record 130 million people need humanitarian assistance to survive," said Secretary General Ban.

Since CERF was founded, it has provided early funding and essential relief operations to 98 counties. It has also given $4.6 billion in emergency assistance. For this year alone, CERF has supported 50 countries that needed emergency help.

So far, India has a cumulative contribution of $6 million to the fund. The country has also extended assistance in relief efforts in Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Yemen. It has also responded to the needs that arose after natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and cyclones.

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