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UN emergency fund gains ${esc.dollar}384 million in pledges

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 11 Dec 2012 21:33 GMT
Author: Reuters
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UNITED NATIONS, Dec 11 (Reuters) - United Nations member states pledged $384 million on Tuesday to an emergency fund that will allow the world body to respond quickly to natural disasters and other crises in 2013, U.N. aid chief Valerie Amos said.

The U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which was created so cash could be given out quickly after a disaster without aid agencies having to wait for donations to roll in, has raised more than ${esc.dollar}2.8 billion since it was launched in 2006.

"CERF is not just an acronym for a multi-million dollar fund," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "When floods wash away homes and hope, when wars tear apart schools and hospitals, when drought destroys crops and prospects, CERF reminds the victims they are not alone."

So far in 2012 the fund has allocated ${esc.dollar}465 million for humanitarian aid in 49 countries, including Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, North Korea, Haiti and Pakistan.

Some money was also used to help Haiti and Cuba recover from Hurricane Sandy, which killed 69 people in the Caribbean before slamming into the U.S. east coast and killing more than 130 people, Amos said.

"The rapid and flexible support offered by the CERF makes it a central pillar of the U.N. humanitarian response," Amos said.

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