2010 was a special year, with two extreme humanitarian disasters. In Haiti, nearly a quarter of a million people were killed when the earthquake struck. Large parts of the capital and the country's infrastructure were ruined. Still over a million people live in refugee camps.
On the other hand, the largest flood disaster caused a huge area of Pakistan covered with water. More than 20 million people have been affected. Many of these still live in need. In addition, 2010 was marked by a number of other natural and man-made crises. Several of these are rarely discussed in the media.
– Many crises occur in countries with inadequate resources and capacity to handle with them. They are dependent on a functioning international humanitarian relief apparatus that can quickly be deployed to provide relief and reduce suffering. The UN has a central coordinating role and the International Emergency Fund – CERF – is the most important common funding mechanism for this purpose, "said Minister.
The fund was established in 2006 and since that time, has paid a total of more than $ 1.9 billion for humanitarian crises in 79 countries. So far in 2010 this year, the CERF disbursed a total of USD 260 million to acute crises in 34 countries and 139 million to 17 countries with more long-term and often forgotten crises. As a result of lack of international attention, many countries are struggling to finance its emergency needs and CERF fund is used to cover the most urgent needs.
– We must be prepared for future disasters in 2011. Norway is a leading global humanitarian actor. A natural part of this commitment is that we are a leader with extensive support to the CERF, "said the Foreign Minister.
In a period of financial crisis in which several donors have reduced their contributions, Norway has increased its funding to the CERF. In January, this year Norway donated 325 million and in the end of the year, this increased by 50 million. This means that Norway will be the largest contributor to the UN's emergency relief fund.