Statement by Germany at the High-Level Pledging Event for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)

09.12.2019 - Speech

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Mr. Chair, 

Thank you for giving me the floor.

From the outset, I would like to thank you for your leadership as Emergency Relief Coordinator and for steering the CERF in difficult times.

Last week, for the first time ever, the Global Humanitarian Overview was launched in Berlin. This could be a moment to celebrate, but the facts are way too dire to be happy. In 2020 we will have an unprecedented number of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, a trend that will not change in the coming years. At the same time, humanitarian funding will remain stagnant, or at best, only grow modestly, certainly not enough to address ever growing needs.

For the foreseeable future, the humanitarian system will continue to persist in a context of increasing underfunding. For this reason, we must pursue reform, become even more efficient and even more effective. And we must use those instruments that make best use of scarce funding. For Germany, the CERF (and Country Based Pooled Funds) certainly belong to this category of innovative instruments. We are strong supporters of both Pooled Funds.

We would like to express our profound satisfaction with the way the Pooled Funds Management Branch and the CERF Secretariat under the respective leaderships of Lisa Doughten and Michael Jensen have been managed in the past years under challenging conditions. Lisa and Michael, thank you and your team!

Mr. Chair,

CERF is enjoying broad support in Germany, in Parliament, amongst decision-makers, and the broader public. One reason is, without any doubt, that CERF‘s mandate is so compellingly simple:

Responding quickly to emergency situations to avoid loss of lives and support the most underfunded protracted humanitarian crises.

We firmly believe, that this simple mandate, and a strict focus on life-saving activities, constitutes CERF‘s success, and ought to be protected.

I may add another reason, why Germany firmly supports CERF. It is CERF’s catalytic effect on the entire humanitarian system, by improving in-country coordination and a coherent response through the Humanitarian Country Team, but also, by focusing donor attention (and future funding) to particularly neglected underfunded humanitarian crises.

Mr. Chair,

Preserving CERF‘s needs-based, life-saving mandate does not mean, that CERF cannot be improved in order to make it even more efficient.

We strongly welcome and support your leadership in moving ahead with anticipatory approaches in the humanitarian system at large, but especially with regards to CERF.

We have reached a point where systematic use of available scientific evidence and forecasts enables us to move from a ‘response-focused’ humanitarian system towards a smarter, ‘forward-looking’ humanitarian system. For many years, Germany has been a strong supporter of anticipatory humanitarian financing.

CERF, given its convening role as a humanitarian fund with global reach, is the best-positioned mechanism within the UN system to promote this paradigm shift towards early humanitarian action.

We sincerely commend the Emergency Relief Coordinator and OCHA for fully embracing this opportunity to reform and further improve humanitarian action. No doubt - anticipatory humanitarian financing is fully in line with CERF’s life-saving mandate. You can be assured of Germany‘s full support in this matter.

Mr. Chair,

With a contribution of 95 Mio. EUR, we are proud of being a key contributor to the CERF in 2019. We will continue to be financially firmly committed to CERF.  

For 2020, we would like to announce a first contribution to the CERF of 50 million EUR. Thank you.


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