As the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance worldwide grows, humanitarian agencies will again rely on resources from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to respond to crises in 2015.
United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has allocated US$3.8 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to support humanitarian operations in the Ebola-struck West Africa region.
Reduced commercial travel in the region has hindered the urgent deployment of healthcare personnel and supplies. This has severely affected the scale up of the urgent life-saving response to the Ebola outbreak in the region.
In March 2014, a severe Ebola outbreak rippled through West Africa. In response to the crisis, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated some US$15.2 million to help humanitarian partners fight the epidemic.
Perched on the side of the Bandiagara cliffs in northern Mali, the village of Sibi Sibi overlooks a dried creek bed. Drought has hit the village several times over the last decade, taking its toll on the livelihoods and health of the town’s 1,300 inhabitants.
Just two years ago, during the Sahel drought of 2012, Fanta Karembe, a twenty-one-year old mother from Sibi Sibi, had to fight to survive. Now, just as she was finally starting to recover from the last crisis, drought has again hit her village.
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Valerie Amos, has allocated US$75 million from CERF to support 11 countries in two regions where humanitarian needs are high but financial support is low: West Africa’s Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
With this regional approach, CERF aims to help relief agencies address the complex and interlinked regional consequences of violent conflict, mass displacement of people and deepening food insecurity.
The government of Zimbabwe declared a national disaster in February when torrential rains caused flooding in the south of the country.
The floods destroyed infrastructure and crops and displaced more than 3,000 families in Chivi and Masvingo districts in Masvingo province and Tsholotsho district in Matabeleland North.
In March 2014, an Ebola outbreak in Guinea spread to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Despite efforts to contain the deadly virus, the number of infections kept rising causing over 2,400 deaths in West Africa.