UNITED NATIONS, June 14 (Xinhua) -- UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock on Monday released 135 million U.S. dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to boost humanitarian operations in 12 countries in Africa, the Americas and the Middle East.
The announcement follows last week's release of data, which show that more than 350,000 people are experiencing famine conditions in Ethiopia's Tigray region, and that the threat of famine looms in Burkina Faso, southern Madagascar, north-east Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.
The funding will be distributed among relief organizations in Syria (20 million dollars); the Democratic Republic of the Congo (20 million dollars); and Ethiopia, with a focus on Tigray (13 million dollars). Aid operations in Afghanistan, Nigeria and South Sudan will each receive 11 million dollars.
The remainder of the funding will go to Madagascar (8 million dollars); Venezuela (7 million dollars); Chad (7 million dollars); Burkina Faso (7 million dollars); Cameroon (5 million dollars); and Mozambique (5 million dollars). A further 10 million dollars will be directed to a range of projects that focus on programming for persons with disabilities.
"Famine is rearing its ugly head in several places right now, so there is no time to waste. This CERF allocation could mean the difference between life and death for millions of people who rely on aid to survive. It will provide essentials such as clean water, shelter and food for the people who need it most, at their time of greatest need," said Lowcock.
"Humanitarian needs continue to outpace humanitarian funding, and not all humanitarian crises are given equal attention or money. More than ever, CERF funding is a vital tool in redressing that imbalance and making sure critical aid work can continue, everywhere."
CERF is one of the fastest and smartest ways to help people affected by crises. The fund enables timely, effective and life-saving humanitarian action by UN agencies and others to kick-start or reinforce emergency response anywhere required. Allocation decisions for underfunded emergencies are based on detailed analysis of more than 70 humanitarian indicators and wide consultation with stakeholders.
Since its creation by the UN General Assembly in 2005, and with generous contributions from 129 member states and observers, as well as other donors, CERF has assisted hundreds of millions of people with over 7 billion dollars across more than 100 countries and territories. This includes more than 2.3 billion dollars to underfunded crises.