Commander's Emergency Response Program
Commander's Emergency Response Program At A Glance
The Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) was established by the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 to enable military commanders to respond to urgent humanitarian relief requirements in Iraq.
The Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) was established by the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 to enable military commanders to respond to urgent humanitarian relief requirements in Iraq. CERP projects were intended to address urgent, small-scale, humanitarian relief, reconstruction projects and services that immediately assisted the indigenous population and that the local population or government could sustain. The Defense Department (DOD) defines urgent as any chronic or acute inadequacy of an essential good or service that in the judgment of the local commander calls for immediate action. With resources drawn from the Overseas Contingency Operations account, DOD is responsible for establishing, overseeing and supervising the execution of CERP policies and procedures, and the DOD Undersecretary is responsible for relaying CERP activities timely to congressional defense committees through quarterly reports. Funds for CERP were initially drawn from seized assets after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but later formalized under the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2005, which extended the authority to U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The authority was reauthorized by Congress each subsequent year, though beginning with the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012, Iraq was no longer eligible for funding, reflecting U.S. withdrawal from the country. Congress eventually grew concerned that resources were being used for long-term infrastructure projects, thus placing a limit of $20 million on CERP projects to ensure appropriate use.