2014-12-10 10:54:00

UN launches record appeal for 2015

(Vatican Radio) This past year saw the number of people affected by conflicts and natural disasters around the world reach record levels, said the United Nations on Tuesday.

With nearly 60 million people affected by these conflicts and crises and their basic humanitarian needs far outpacing the UN’s capacity to respond, the UN has launched a record aid appeal for 2015.

Listen to the report by Peter Kenny:

At the end of November, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated 102 million people were in need of assistance. The UN agency targeted 76 million of them.

In an effort to meet these needs, the UN has launched a $17.9-billion campaign for 2015. The funds would help people in 31 countries, said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

“If we look at this year, we have received so far $9.4 billion in funding,” she told a press conference in Geneva. “With that money, we helped to avert a famine in South Sudan; we delivered food aid to millions of Syrians every month; we provided medical supplies to a million Iraqis and food to 930,000 people in the Central African Republic.”

She said Syria, South Sudan, Iraq and the Central African Republic will remain the top priorities for next year.

“These four crises alone account for over 70 per cent of the funding requirements we are asking for today,” she said.

She noted there are many other emergencies demanding attention, citing Afghanistan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Yemen.

Responding to people’s suffering must be a shared responsibility, she said.

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