The United Nations humanitarian chief Monday announced the allocation of some $100 million from an emergency account to boost operations in 12 poorly-funded crises ranging from Afghanistan to Yemen.
"Millions of people continue to need help around the world after the media spotlight fades," said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.
"These allocations are about saving lives. I hope that governments and others will provide more funds to help those caught in these hidden emergencies."
The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) selected Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen on the basis of the severity of humanitarian need and an analysis of funding levels.
CERF's underfunded emergency facility aims to even out funding disparities and highlight 'forgotten' or 'neglected' emergencies such as the longstanding Sahrawi refugee operation in Algeria, stated a news release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which manages the Fund.
The facility allocated $3 million to strengthen life-saving programmes in Eritrea, while agencies working in Afghanistan will receive $17 million to support the most vulnerable people caught up in conflict and natural disasters. In 2012, Afghanistan received less than 50 per cent of the funds needed to carry out humanitarian programmes.
A third of all CERF funds are earmarked each year for underfunded emergencies to help improve the balance of global humanitarian aid distribution. Since 2006, $900 million has been allocated from CERF to neglected crises in more than 40 countries.
A second round of allocations from CERF's underfunded emergency facility will follow in July 2013.
Launched in 2006, CERF enables faster delivery of life-saving assistance to people affected by natural disasters and other crises worldwide. It is funded by voluntary contributions from Member States, non-governmental organizations, regional governments, the private sector and individual donors.
For 2013, donors have so far pledged more than $383 million, bringing the total amount contributed to CERF since March 2006 to more than $3.2 billion.