Apply for CERF Funds

CERF provides seed funds to jump-start critical relief operations and fund life-saving programmes not covered by other donors. Based on priorities established under the leadership of the Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator (RC/HC) in the field, UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies as well as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are eligible to apply for grants and loans. The process is meant to be inclusive and transparent and efforts should be made to engage NGO and government partners. Requests are submitted to the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC).

Applying for Rapid Response grants

CERF rapid response funds can help reduce the inconsistency and delays humanitarian organizations may experience when receiving voluntary contributions. Rapid response funds help support life-saving activities at the onset of a crisis. More>>

Allocation of Underfunded grants

One-third of CERF grants are allocated to support humanitarian response activities in underfunded emergencies. Twice a year, the ERC allocates to selected countries grants from the underfunded emergencies window. The ERC selects countries based on a number of criteria, including the level of funding, humanitarian needs, risk and vulnerability; UN agencies’ recommendations; consultations with UN agencies, NGOs and different parts of OCHA; and a review of documents such as Humanitarian Needs Overviews.  More>>  

Applying for Loans

CERF’s loan element provides money to eligible humanitarian organizations to begin implementing their emergency response activities. These funds are crucial, as organizations may experience delays when receiving donors’ contributions. More>>

The interactive graphic below explains the process step-by-step. NOTE: The links embedded in the graph will open PDF files.

Application Process

  • For Rapid Response applications related to slow onset disasters (e.g., drought), CERF urges applicants to review and complete the Rapid Response Concept Note prior to engaging in a full-fledged application. This note will facilitate early consultations and help determine the application's eligibility. 
  • Apply using the CERF Application Template (English | French)
  • You can also download the chapeau and project parts of the CERF Application Template separately (Chapeau and Project in English | Chapeau and Project French).
  • Agencies may submit their proposed budget in the optional CERF Budget Tool 2013 (Excel - January 2013).
  • In all cases, proposals should be sent as a package with a cover letter/e-mail from the RC/HC to the ERC and the CERF secretariat.

No Cost Extensions, Reprogramming and Redeployment of Funds

For aditional information, click on the graphic below




CERF Training: Q & A with former ERC Amos