The Government of Catalonia reaffirms its commitment to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) by making a new contribution of 700,000 euros for 2024.
The announcement was made at the General Assembly in New York by the delegate of the Government to the United States and Canada,Isidre Sala, during the CERF High-Level Pledging Event. This event gathers donors from around the world, including public administrations and private actors, to mobilize financial resources for the fund's response to humanitarian emergencies in the upcoming year.
This year, for the first time, the government's contribution to OCHA will be divided into two items: 200,000 euros will go exclusively to Palestine, and the remaining 500,000 euros will be entirely directed to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to cover humanitarian crises in the coming year.
Since 2018, Catalonia has made annual contributions to OCHA through the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation. The contributions were 250,000 euros in 2018 and 290,000 euros in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. This year,the contribution will be 600,000 euros, afigure doubling that of 2022. With the 700,000 euros pledged for 2024, the Generalitat has contributed nearly 3 million euros to this UN office (2,700,000 euros).
In his speech, Sala emphasized the significance of the CERF fund and the values of development cooperation policy amidst current crises like the conflict between Israel and Hamas. He stated,"this CERF fund is crucial to alleviate the suffering of those most in need by providing vital assistance in emergency situations. Human lives are at stake, and international humanitarian law must be respected".
The Government collaborates with multilateral organizations and forums to address global challenges. Committed to a multilateral system involving governments closest to citizens in policy design and implementation, the Catalan government has extensive experience in cooperation with United Nations agencies.
The Catalan contribution to the CERF
The CERF is a basket fund within the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that coordinates humanitarian action on a global scale and receives resources from UN member states, regional authorities, and private donors to respond to humanitarian crises.
The Catalan contribution to the CERF exemplifies a multi-stakeholder partnership mobilizing financial resources to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, particularly in developing countries.
The government's contribution to the CERF represents a means of coordinating emergency responses through multi-donor funds. The CERF relies on voluntary donations from public administrations and private actors, distributed periodically to ensure rapid, flexible, and people-centric responses to humanitarian emergencies. The fund prioritizes actions that reduce loss of life, reinforce critical responses during emergencies, and strengthen essential elements of humanitarian aid in underfunded crises.
The government has increased the allocation for humanitarian emergencies from $4 million to $6 million in 2023
The Generalitat augmented the budget allocation in 2023 for addressing humanitarian emergencies from 4 to 6 million euros, which serves as the conduit for government aid and the annual contribution to OCHA.
Moreover, the Government raised the allocation for development cooperation by 30% compared to 2022, now totaling 45 million euros.
Among the major emergencies to which the Government provided economic contributions in 2023 to UN agencies and NGOs were theearthquakes in Turkey and Syria, amounting to 2 million euros, the earthquake in Morocco receiving 1 million euros, and the crisis in theGaza Strip and the West Bankdue to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, receiving 1 million euros directed to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
Since 2018, Catalonia has contributed nearly 3 million euros to OCHA, demonstrating the Government's commitment to the United Nations' multilateral system in addressing global challenges.