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Western Union becomes first corporate donor to UN emergency fund

Summary

At the high-level United Nations conference in support of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Western Union announced a $100,000 donation, making it the first corporate donor to the United Nation’s CERF.

The CERF has helped to save millions of lives by providing quick initial funding for life-saving assistance and rapid response in sudden onset, rapidly deteriorating, and underfunded humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters. It also helped to redress the imbalances in global aid distribution that have too often left millions of people in so called neglected or forgotten crises in need.

Funding from CERF went to help jump start aid, including food aid, health care, shelter and non-food items, and water and sanitation. For example, when part of Indonesia was devastated by floods in February 2007, the Fund helped the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the government launch a massive immunisation campaign for children to prevent disease outbreaks and also allowed the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide food to 40,000 of the neediest people. In the Central African Republic, CERF support enabled UNICEF to carry out community-based nutrition programmes in some 126 towns.

The United Nations encourages donors to support the CERF through multi-year commitments to ensure the sustainability of the Fund.