DFA Logo

This content from the
Department of Foreign Affairs
has moved to Ireland.ie/irish-aid. If you are not redirected in 5 seconds, click here.

Skip to main content

This content from the Department of Foreign Affairs has moved to Ireland.ie/irish-aid

Ministers Coveney and Cannon announce 9 million funding for UNCERF

Budget/funding, Emergencies, Hunger, News/feature, Global, Horn of Africa, Nigeria, Yemen, 2017


Ministers Coveney and Cannon announce €9 million in additional humanitarian funding to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund for allocation to underfunded crises


Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D., and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Mr Ciaran Cannon, T.D., today announced an additional €9 million in funding to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in response to the unprecedented levels of humanitarian need globally.

The Central Emergency Response Fund is a large UN fund that is used for immediate humanitarian response at the onset of emergencies, in rapidly deteriorating situations, and in protracted crises that fail to attract sufficient resources. So far in 2017, CERF has allocated over $276 million to 28 crises around the world, including to crises in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Nigeria. This additional contribution by Ireland, which brings our total contribution to the fund to €22m in 2017, will allow for a further allocation by the CERF to underfunded crises this year.   


Announcing the funding, Minister Coveney said:

The scale and severity of humanitarian crises globally is overwhelming. Millions are on the brink of famine in the Horn of Africa, North East Nigeria and Yemen and diseases like cholera are ravaging people weakened by malnutrition. 

Ireland has a proud history of supporting those in need. Our compassion for those who are suffering will not allow us to stand by while millions are in need of basic requirements like food, shelter and clean water. Ireland’s commitment to saving lives through humanitarian assistance is recognised globally and our funding to the CERF further cements this reputation.”

Minister of State Cannon said:

“When a crisis fades from the headlines, or never makes the headlines, it is difficult to raise the funding needed to respond - even where the humanitarian need remains significant. The CERF is a valuable mechanism, in that it allows Ireland to provide un-earmarked, flexible and timely funding, with an emphasis underfunded or ‘forgotten’ crises, in line with our foreign policy goals. Such crises include in countries such as the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad.  I am proud of Ireland’s strong and consistent support to the CERF.”



Press Office

03 August 2017


Notes to the editor:

  • Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information visit www.irishaid.ie


  • Ireland’s Humanitarian Assistance Policy outlines how Irish Aid saves and protects lives, alleviates suffering and maintains human dignity before, during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crises.


  • The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is a UN humanitarian funding instrument, administrated by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and aims to release money rapidly when a crisis occurs or when there is a sudden escalation of an existing crisis.  Donor countries pool their funds in CERF, totalling approximately $450m annually, to ensure an agile and rapid humanitarian response.


  • The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is a UN humanitarian pooled fund which releases money rapidly when a crisis occurs or suddenly escalates. It also provides funding to underfunded and “forgotten” crises. CERF allows donors pool their funds, totalling approximately $450 million annually, to ensure rapid humanitarian response. The CERF aims to have funds on the ground within 72 hours of a crisis occurring.


  • Ireland has been a consistent contributor to the CERF, and is currently the 8th largest donor since its inception. Since 2005, Ireland has provided almost $190 million.


  • So far in 2017, the CERF has made over $276 million available for humanitarian response in 28 countries worldwide, including in Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Underfunded, “forgotten” crises such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Chad have also received CERF funding.