(New York, 19 October 2017): United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced last week the appointment of nine new members of the Advisory Group of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, the 21- member Advisory Group provides policy guidance to the Secretary General and advice on the use and impact of CERF, through Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, who manages the Fund on the Secretary-General’s behalf.

The new members are:

  • Mr. James Wallace Isbister, First Assistant Secretary and Humanitarian Coordinator     for the   Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
  • Mr. Bruno van der Pluijm, Director General of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, Belgium
  • Ms. Alexandra MacKenzie, Director of Humanitarian Organizations and Food Assistance Division, Canada
  • Mr. Toro Tassara, Director of the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) and leading coordinator of the National Civil Protection System, Chile
  • Ms. Rahel Asfaw, Director of the National Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Directorate, Ethiopia
  • Mr. Claus Lindroos, Director of the Humanitarian Assistance and Policy Division, Finland 
  • Ms. Alison Milton, Director of the Humanitarian Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland
  • Mr. Per Enarsson, Ambassador of Sweden to Eritrea
  • Ms. Mairo Mandara, Country Representative of Nigeria at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“I thank the departing members for their service and welcome the new members to CERF’s Advisory Group. As the fund moves towards an increase in its annual target from $450 million to $1 billion by 2018, the Advisory Group plays a key role in providing the strategic guidance vital to enable CERF to fulfil its mandate in an increasingly challenging humanitarian context,” Lowcock said. CERF is one of the fastest ways to get urgent aid to people whenever and wherever they need it the most. For more than a decade, CERF has enabled the UN agencies, funds and programmes, and their implementing partners to provide close to $5 billion in life-saving assistance across the globe. The Advisory Group is key to managing the Fund efficiently, and to ensuring that assistance reaches those most in need.

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