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Every year the lives of millions of people are devastated by natural disasters, conflict and other humanitarian emergencies. 2005 has seen particularly extreme humanitarian emergencies including the tsunami, the Sahel food crisis, and hurricanes Katrina and Stan. Tackling these crises requires a range of actions including immediate humanitarian assistance and long-term development. This short paper focuses on one concrete way in which the global humanitarian response could be improved to help prevent avoidable suffering and death – the upgrading of the existing UN Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF) to a new Central Emergency Response Fund.

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