22 January 2019
The Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey, has been asked by the UN to liaise with small countries around the world about setting up funding streams to ensure immediate response to a crisis or emergency, following Jersey’s success in pooled funding.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs at the UN has also published a document outlining the sophistication of Jersey’s humanitarian donorship.
Earlier this month Deputy Labey attended a meeting at the UN’s headquarters in New York during a private trip to the city.
Deputy Labey had been invited to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to meet their Chief of Pooled Funding, Lisa Doughten, who thanked Jersey for its contributions to the UN’s Pooled Funding initiative in Syria and the Central Africa Republic.
Country-based pooled funds allow governments and private donors to combine their contributions into single, un-earmarked funds to support humanitarian efforts quickly. Jersey is currently the largest non-member state donor. Jersey Overseas Aid first supported country-based pooled funds in 2016 with a grant of £495,000 to support life-saving humanitarian action for the most vulnerable people in Syria.
During the meeting Deputy Labey and Ms Doughten discussed the efficiency of providing emergency funding through country-based pooled funds. It was also noted that Jersey sets a good example of how smaller donors can work with the UN.
Deputy Labey said: “Once again Jersey is punching above its weight and is being recognised for its role on the international stage.
“It was a very welcoming visit and we are delighted to have established a direct relationship with the UN. For years we have been supporting Unicef via the UK but this link gives Jersey direct input and feedback with the UN."
Deputy Labey, who is also the chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Jersey Branch, added: “While Jersey’s relationship with the UN is through the work of Jersey Overseas Aid, it is important to develop international relationships with organisations and countries not only in the US but also around the world. This is ever more important as Brexit approaches.”
Jersey sits on the Advisory Board for the Syrian Humanitarian Fund and has donated £1.5million since 2016. The Syrian civil war is widely acknowledged as the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.