The Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme provides quick help to evacuate, stabilise or rescue cultural heritage under imminent threat of destruction or damaged by man-made disasters, natural disasters or conflict.
Regarding culture as a basic need consequently implies that culture plays – or should play – a key role in humanitarian emergency relief policies and actions. The CER programme believes that culture is an integral part of emergency relief and post-disaster reconstruction processes. Culture connects individuals to their communities and histories and is integral to human identity and interpretations of reality through religion, rituals and traditions. Culture sits at the heart of community identities and provides people with strength and cultural resilience.
CER implements its cultural emergency relief actions in direct cooperation with local partners in the affected communities. By responding as soon as the situation allows, CER aims to rescue cultural heritage, to prevent sites from collapsing or to stop damages from getting worse.
If no reliable information about the impact of the disaster or conflict is available, CER is able to provide a small grant to carry out a damage assessment mission aimed at mapping the damage to cultural heritage and determining priorities in need of quick intervention.
In its ten years of existence CER has carried out more than 160 cultural emergency relief actions worldwide.
- Support is primarily given to people and organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
- CER exclusively offers financial means to implement “first aid” to cultural heritage and is not able to provide the total solution.
- Proposals can only be taken into consideration if they refer to a man-made or natural disaster or a conflict situation which caused a cultural emergency situation that requires immediate action.
- Proposals are only accepted if they refer to either concrete material needs, research missions for identifying cultural emergency relief actions, first aid training for salvaging culture or raising awareness on on-going crisis’s damaging culture or heritage.