The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, spoke at the Annual Conference of the Donors to the United Nations’ “Central Emergency Response Fund” (CERF). The event was opened by United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, and moderated by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, Mark Lowcock. The CREF is a multi-donor fund, set up by the UN’s General Assembly in 2006, with the aim of responding quickly and flexibly to the most urgent humanitarian crises, or the so-called “forgotten” crises.
In announcing that Italy will increase its contribution to the CREF for 2021, the Vice Minister referred to how, in recent years, humanitarian needs have been increasing continuously. “In 2021, worldwide 1 person in 33 will need assistance and humanitarian protection – this is the highest number in recent decades.”
Vice Minister Del Re stated that the CREF had proven to be an effective tool for providing timely financial support in case of unforeseen and under-financed emergencies. This has been shown, for example, by the United Nations wish to use the CREF to alleviate the suffering of people struck by hurricane “Eta” in Central America, as well as support for the response to Covid-19. The Vice Minister therefore congratulated the Under-General-Secretary, Mark Lowcock, “For his significant efforts to mobilise financial resources timeously and appropriately, via the CERF, when required.”
“The CERF,” she concluded, “can also make an important contribution when advance action is called for, when facing an imminent event that will have a humanitarian impact. I agree with the opinion that advance action can be more economical, more effective, and more humane”.