PH pledges P10M to UN emergency relief fund

Published December 9, 2021, 2:57 PM

by Betheena Unite

The Philippines made a pledge to contribute US$200,000 or about P10 million to the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), a humanitarian fund for people in emergency situations.

(Photo courtesy of the DFA)

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced the country’s intent to contribute on Wednesday, Dec. 8 during the CERF pledging event organized by the United Nations (UN).

CERF is a humanitarian fund administered by the UN for people in emergency situations.

Locsin said that “for the last 20 months, humanity has endured a crisis of a scale in pain, loss, and economic destruction never seen in our lifetime. COVID has taken more than 5 million lives and the grim reaping goes on. Tens of millions of people, already vulnerable without the pandemic, have been so pounded from all sides that only a lifeline decides if they live or die. The Central Emergency Relief Fund is such a lifeline.”

The Philippine top diplomat highlighted that the CERF served that function for the Philippines when it was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

“It also tided over tens of thousands of Filipinos after jihadists took Marawi. It is the speediest and most flexible funding mechanism in the UN or anywhere else,” he added.

Locsin also encouraged others to contribute to the CERF as he made the country’s pledge.

The Philippines has been a recipient of the CERF since its inception in 2006. The Philippines was recently selected as a pilot for the implementation of CERF Anticipatory Action (AA) for Tropical Cyclone with an allotted $7.5 million for a possible activation of the AA framework.

In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that 2021 has been one of the most difficult years for humanitarian actors but CERF has stepped up to the challenge.

In 2020, the CERF helped close to 69 million people –twice as many as the year before. According to the Secretary-General, “the scale of today’s crises demands a strong CERF with the resources it needs to rise to the challenge of responding swiftly at the onset of an emergency. This year, despite the generosity of donors, the $1 billion goal was not reached. But it can be done if Member States allocate just a small percentage of their humanitarian funding through CERF each year.”