UAE pledges $1m to UN for emergency funds

The pledge is a significant increase from last year’s contribution of $100,000, according to statistics on Cerf’s website.

The UAE pledged US$1 million (Dh3.67m) on Wednesday night for the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (Cerf).

Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE’s permanent representative to the UN, announced the contribution at a conference at the UN headquarters in New York, the state news agency Wam reported.

The pledge is a significant increase from last year’s contribution of $100,000, according to statistics on Cerf’s website. It is also more than the total contributions made from 2006 to 2014, which stood at $370,000.

Ms Nusseibeh made the announcement to more than 250 senior representatives from UN member states and observers. Valerie Amos, head of the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), was chairwoman of the conference.

“Today, we celebrate the good work that Cerf has done in the over 88 countries it has operated in this year and commit ourselves to helping Ocha continue to provide rapid, effective and efficient humanitarian aid,” Ms Nusseibeh said.

The Ambassador, the first female Emirati envoy to the UN, also highlighted the urgent need for the international community to take coordinated action to help refugees worldwide ahead of winter.

The UAE has increased its efforts towards cooperation with UN humanitarian activities in recent years.

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, in September spoke about the country’s commitment to sustainable humanitarian action alongside Ocha, calling the organisation an “invaluable partner to the UAE”.

He said there was more demand for efficient humanitarian work as extremists in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan were exploiting unstable conditions. “While we work together to find political solutions to these challenges, humanitarians need to step up to the challenge and come up with new partnership models and innovative approaches to help us in our fight against extremism,” Dr Gargash had said.

The UAE ranked 45th out of 125 countries and observers in terms of contributions to Cerf from 2006 to 2014, behind Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The UK ranked first.

The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the Emirates Red Crescent have also donated to Cerf. The UN General Assembly established Cerf in 2006 to provide humanitarian assistance for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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