Excellencies, Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalam Alaikum Warahmathullahi Wabarakaathuh,
I would like to thank the Secretary-General and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for convening this timely event.
There is no doubt that the unprecedented trials of this year have left people around the world to depend on the critical and lifesaving work of the Central Emergency Response Fund. The Covid-19 pandemic has created extraordinary challenges in its own right – magnifying the harm inflicted by conflicts, extreme weather, and the ongoing effects of climate change. The Maldives knows too well the daunting challenges developing states face in responding to the intersection of these events that will remain long after the pandemic has abated.
CERF’s swift and targeted disbursement of assistance meaningfully improved the global response to Covid-19 and other humanitarian threats over the past year. In responding to crises, especially a global pandemic such as Covid-19 that presents the risk of exponential spread, $1 million spent on day one might save $1 billion on day 100. CERF’s Rapid Response and anticipatory actions in response to Covid-19, flooding, droughts, and other emergencies contributed substantially to mitigating the humanitarian impact of these events. CERF also demonstrated prudence in its funding of UN agencies, which could in turn utilize their expertise to allocate resources to the areas of greatest need.
The Maldives appreciates CERF’s continued efforts to disburse aid to the most vulnerable populations and to fund the most underfunded humanitarian efforts. Those countries with the fewest resources are often the hardest hit by conflicts, natural disasters, and other crises. We applaud the work CERF has done to assist these countries, and its relentless efforts to prioritize aid for women and girls and persons with disabilities.
As a fund “for all, by all,” CERF embodies the spirit of multilateralism and collective action that we must embrace in order to respond quickly and effectively to urgent humanitarian crises across the globe. To express our solidarity with CERF’s indispensable and life-saving work, the Maldives has made a symbolic contribution to the Fund, and we encourage donors worldwide to continue to support the Fund’s commendable humanitarian efforts.
I thank you.