Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York



8 December 2021

Statement by H.E. The Hon. Mitch Fifield, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations

Last week we heard from USG Griffiths that 2021 was the most challenging year for the humanitarian system so far. As we make our pledges to the CERF today, we face the grim reality that 2022 will continue to bring escalating humanitarian needs, exacerbated by COVID, conflict and extreme weather.

In this difficult global context, the CERF continues to play a crucial role in the resilience and adaptability of the humanitarian system.

CERF funding has catalysed anticipatory action and responded to critical humanitarian needs around the world. Australia welcomes CERF’s response to disasters and crises in our region, the Indo-Pacific, including life-saving assistance to people in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Australia commends CERF’s efforts to channel resources to assist the most vulnerable, including support for reproductive health and programmes assisting persons with disabilities. We especially welcome the thematic CERF allocations which support the empowerment of women and girls and specifically focus on addressing gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies.

We recognise USG Griffiths’ ongoing commitment to anticipatory action. This important work is one of the reasons why the CERF is leading greater efficiency through innovation in contemporary crises and is an essential means of reducing humanitarian need.

It is clear 2022 will bring immense challenges. We encourage all our donor colleagues to commit to predictable, multi-year contributions to the CERF, and for UN partners to do more to cascade flexible donor conditions to their NGO and local partners.

Australia is proud to be a long-time supporter of the CERF. We affirm our existing commitment of AUD11 million in 2022 as part of a multi-year commitment of AUD66 million over six years.

We thank the CERF secretariat and UN partners for their efforts in this particularly difficult year.