$13 bn needed in 2014 for humanitarian aid, says UN

Geneva, Dec 17: The United Nations and humanitarian partners Monday appealed for some $13 billion in 2014 to help millions of people in humanitarian need around the world, with half of the funds going to Syria and the neighbouring region.

Valerie Amos, UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said a total of $12.9 billion were needed to reach 52 million people in 17 crisis-affected countries, calling it the “largest amount we have ever requested at the start of the year,” Xinhua quoted Amos as saying.

Addressing a press conference at the launch of the humanitarian strategies and requirements for 2014, she said that “$6.5 billion will support our efforts in Syria and the neighbouring countries.”

According to UN statistics, there are over 2.3 million registered Syrian refugees in the region and millions more people displaced internally. The number of Syrian refugees would rise to 4.1 million by the end of 2014 based on current trends.

The humanitarian aid plans for 2014, with some 568 aid organisations participating, include help for millions of Filipinos who were struggling to rebuild their homes and communities after typhoon Haiyan.

The plan also considers the victims to crisis of Central African Republic where the situation has deteriorated dramatically, and people caught up in protracted crisis in Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Haiti where millions of people need urgent humanitarian aids to survive.

Amos urged governments, private organisations, individuals to continue their support next year to help millions of people caught in the midst of crisis.

IANS