On February 20, 2014, the United States hosted the final Steering Group meeting to develop the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). GCERF will mobilize public and private sector resources, and will provide grants to local, grassroots organizations for community-based projects on education, vocational training, civic engagement, media, and women’s advocacy aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremist agendas, which can create significant barriers to political and economic development.
This event, held in Washington, D.C., was facilitated by Carol Bellamy, the former Executive Director of UNICEF and former Chair of the Global Partnership for Education. Some 70 officials and experts from over 35 governments, the EU, the UN, the World Bank, NGOs, private sector entities, and foundations met to review and refine the mandate and organizational architecture of the GCERF which will be established in Geneva, Switzerland by mid-2014. Previous meetings took place in Switzerland (Lucerne and Geneva) in November and December 2013.
In January 2014, Didier Burkhalter, President of the Swiss Confederation, and John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, reaffirmed their mutual commitment to the GCERF at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Fund was announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at a Global Counterterrorism Forum Ministerial meeting in New York on September 27, 2013.