The Central Emergency Response Fund (Cerf) needs more support to compensate for a disaster- laden 2011 and in preparation for what may come this year. The fund, set up by the UN after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, aims to respond quickly and effectively to those affected by natural disasters by uniting international efforts. \"It is a way to offer pre-emptive support,\" said Khalid Khalifa, head of the Gulf Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. \"The UN can dispense funds immediately without waiting for fund-raising efforts to begin, therefore it is crucial.\" Floods support In the aftermath of the recent floods in the Philippines, humanitarian workers praised the fund for providing immediate support during the holiday season, when donors can be difficult to come by. The International Organisation for Migration\'s Joanna Dabao confirmed that $1 million (Dh3.67 million) from Cerf provided building materials for emergency shelters and repairs to evacuation centres. The UAE contributed $50,000 for 2011. The fund is open to private companies and individuals, not just governments. \"The UAE is a very active member in various humanitarian causes and has participated through sources outside this fund,\" Khalifa said. \"We have to let the countries see the value of Cerf and in pre-empting such disasters. \"What matters most is their involvement, regardless of how big or small it may be,\" Khalifa added.Top contributors in 2011 were the UK and Sweden, donating $94 million and $74 million respectively.