Statement by Ambassador H.E. Dr. Palitha Kohona,

Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

The High Level Conference on Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF)

11th December 2012

Madame Chair,

On behalf of Sri Lanka, I wish to thank you and your team for organizing this annual high level meeting and the pledging event in order to strengthen the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF).

As the most important international mechanism to address humanitarian emergencies brought about by both natural and man-made disasters, we are well aware of the key role played by the CERF during the past eight years, since its inauguration in 2005. With the assistance of Member States, the fund has grown significantly, to the benefit of the vulnerable, despite our common challenges caused by the global financial and economic crises during the past few years. Periodic reviews have also indicated that there are many avenues for both beneficiaries and contributors associated with the fund to explore more productive partnerships.  

Sri Lanka has benefited significantly from contributions from CERF, especially during the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day Asian Tsunami and during the internal conflict. In 2011, the CERF allocated over US$16 million to Sri Lanka, from the windows for rapid response and under-funded emergencies.  In 2012, it allocated US$2 million to Sri Lanka, from the window for underfunded emergencies. Most of these funds were utilized for the resettlement of the internally displaced and for providing urgent relief to them at the end of the internal conflict. We recall the effective   visits made by the then Under-Secretary-General, Sir John Holmes. 

I take this opportunity to underline Sri Lanka’s confidence in the UN humanitarian support system and our gratitude for the assistance provided in the past in making a token contribution of US$ 10,000 to the CERF next year. I am convinced that this modest amount in some way will flow to victims of disasters in some corner of the world who deserve our assistance.  

I thank you.


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