Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Italian Government, I wish to thank the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, for providing us with such a useful update on the recent activities carried out through the Central Emergency Response Fund.
Mr. Chairman, in the same year that the UN marks its Seventieth Anniversary – despite the unprecedented level of humanitarian funding – the international community continues to face serious challenges fuelled by an upsurge in conflict, natural disasters and human suffering.
The protracted nature and the regional dimension of most of the humanitarian crises produced a significant impact in terms of humanitarian consequences, resulting in a deep gap between needs and available resources to satisfy those needs.
Despite the considerable efforts made in recent years to improve humanitarian leadership, coordination, and accountability and, lastly, the preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May next year, we continue to witness a staggering increase in the number of people living in regions severely affected by conflicts and violence; forced to seek protection and a safe shelter elsewhere; requiring international assistance for their own survival.
Protracted crises, urban need, and fragility have de facto become the new “normal”. There is a crucial need for the international community as a whole to redouble its efforts in order to meet current and future challenges. The time has come to build global partnerships within and beyond the existing humanitarian system and focus on collective action as the only way possible to truly tackle the world’s crises.
In this regard, Italy continues to acknowledge the success of CERF in boosting effective humanitarian coordination by improving the speed, equity and predictability of humanitarian assistance. We remain committed to relying on CERF as a flexible, rapid and strategic funding instrument to secure both rapid funding for severe, urgent humanitarian interventions and funding for the so-called “forgotten crises”.
Rapid response allocations to support life-saving assistance and protection to the people affected by renewed violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), as well as early humanitarian response to climate-related events linked to El Niño represent two examples of crucial assistance provided by CERF in 2015. Moreover, thanks to the CERF Underfunded Emergencies Window, relief agencies can count on resources to address the complex and interlinked regional consequences of violent conflicts, mass displacement of people and high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity, especially in Sahel and in the Horn of Africa.
Moreover, the year 2015 marks CERF’s Tenth Anniversary since its inception, offering the opportunity to spotlight the added value it brings to humanitarian reform, as well as the future challenges emerging from changes to the humanitarian landscape. For this reason, Italy looks forward to the report of the Secretary-General and to the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing in the framework of the WHS to be released early next year.
In conclusion, I wish to seize this opportunity to reaffirm Italy’s full support to CERF. With the approval of increased allocations by the Italian Government for Official Development Assistance in 2016, I am very pleased to announce that Italy will confirm and increase its annual contribution to the Fund, to over 1 million euros.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.