Ms. Andrea L. M. Wilson
Counsellor, Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations
at the High Level Conference
on the Central Emergency Reponse Fund (CERF)
during the63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Jamaica, like other members of the international community, remains concerned that the increasing incidences of armed conflicts and natural disasters have led to a substantial increase in humanitarian emergencies. In such circumstances, many Governments are unable to deliver sufficient funding making timely responses to emergencies difficult. When disasters happen, the world looks to the UN and its agencies to lead the international response. The Central Emergency Response Fund in responding to these challenges has provided additional and more predictable and timely funding, to humanitarian efforts over the past two years. We note that the Fund has provided an easy and centralized way to support the UN’s efforts in addressing humanitarian crises around the world.
Recent commitments in earthquake ravished China, cyclone affected Myanmar, and Central African Republic refugees in Chad are testaments of the importance of the Fund in the delivery of humanitarian solutions to emergencies. Closer to home, the CERF has also assisted neighbouring Cuba and Haiti following the onslaught of several hurricanes in the Caribbean region. We note that 6.1 percent of the budget was committed to the Latin American and Caribbean region.
As a small island developing State that is susceptible to the unpredictability of nature’s fury, Jamaica welcomes the support provided by the Fund to countries in need of humanitarian assistance in order to protect the most vulnerable against forces beyond their control.
We recognize that the Fund, though not without its fair share of challenges, has the potential to assist millions of people devastated each year by emergencies around the world. This cannot be achieved, however, without the continued contribution from both public and private donors. Mindful of our own resource and other constraints, but nevertheless recognizing that the operation of the Fund is one that is a shared responsibility, the Government of Jamaica commits to make a modest pledge of J$375,000 or US$5,000 to the continued work of the Fund.
Mr Chairman, as we say in our local dialect “one, one cocoa full basket!”
I thank you for your attention.