Pledging statement by the Netherlands on the occasion of the CERF High Level Conference for 2015
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished delegates,
Again in 2014, multiple complex and protracted crises have challenged the humanitarian system greatly. In Syria, South Sudan, CAR, Yemen and many other places people are struggling to survive. The devastation caused by Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is ongoing and will have long lasting effects. At the same time less visible disasters need our attention too. The Central Emergency Response Fund is well equipped to address both. CERF is still a unique mechanism for timely, predictable and flexible funding, worldwide and system wide. A fund that deserves and needs the support of all, for all.
The Netherlands attaches great importance to these functions of the CERF, which is why we have supported CERF substantially from the very beginning. Our total contribution to date stands at over 493 million US dollar.
The fund has proven its success. However, it could achieve more when its resources would be channeled faster from the agencies to the implementing partners. Therefore, we call upon all agencies to ensure more timely disbursement to NGOs.
The humanitarian needs this year were unprecedentedly high, and are not likely to decrease in 2015 or the years after. Therefor we urge donors to provide substantial, multi-annual contributions to enhance predictable funding. It is equally important that new partners will support CERF. To make sure basic needs (such as food & nutrition, health care, shelter, water & sanitation, education) can be met, we need all the help we can get.
Moreover, the immense costs to help all those in need make it even more relevant to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of aid. In our opinion, this can only be reached under the condition of good coordination with all stakeholders involved. Here, we do not only look at OCHA, but also at all implementing partners and ourselves, the donors. It takes two to tango.
To allow aid to be as effective as possible, unearmarked contributions are essential. The Netherlands is a long-standing supporter of unearmarked funding even if it means our visibility as donor diminishes. In order for this to be sustainable, the outreach of CERF could be improved, by better presenting the achievements of the fund.
The high level of crises and human suffering is a huge concern for the Dutch government. Against this background, a new Relief Fund for 2014 to 2017 was established last September, for a total of 750 million US dollar. With this fund, the Netherlands will provide more relief to victims of violence and natural disasters.
It is in this light, that today I can announce an additional contribution of 59 mln US dollar to CERF for the period 2015 to 2017. This is supplementary to our earlier three-year commitment of 158 mln US dollar. In total, the Netherlands will contribute 72 mln US dollar to CERF in 2015.
Let me finish by thanking you, Madam Chair. Your tireless leadership has played a key role in ensuring fast, coordinated and effective responses to humanitarian crises worldwide. But most importantly, you have been a moral compass to remind us all of our shared humanity and our responsibility towards people in need, and we thank you for that.