The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is a stand-by fund established by the UnitedNations to enable more timely and reliable humanitarian assistance to victims of disasters andcomplex emergencies. The CERF was adopted by consensus by the United Nations GeneralAssembly on 15 December 2005 to achieve the following objectives: Promote early action and response to reduce loss of life;Enhance response to time-critical requirements;Strengthen core elements of humanitarian response in underfunded crisesSupport from the CERF is based on the idea of prioritized œlife-saving? assistance to people inneed. While the notion of life-saving and time-critical assistance seems relatively clear, anobjective technical definition is difficult to find. To ensure adherence to its mandated role theCERF defines œlife-saving? by using the basic humanitarian principle of placing the people andcommunities affected in the focus and applying a rights-based approach traced back to theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the right to life with dignity.