UN requires extra $8 billion to meet humanitarian needs this year

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Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos during the United Nations Economic and Social Council. [UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre]

The United Nations needs another $8 billion dollars this year to give urgent humanitarian assistance to 73 million people in 24 countries.

Reporting on humanitarian funding and action for the first half of the year, humanitarian chief Valerie Amos says more than $5 billion have been given so far.

“That money has been used for example in South Sudan to provide nearly 450,000 people with safe drinking water. In Mali nutrition agencies have been able to treat around 77,000 children suffering from life-threatening or cute malnutrition. In Yemen, health organizations have managed to keep 80 per cent of health facilities functional allowing thousands of the most vulnerable people to get the health care they need.”

However, with the Syria crisis, and increasing needs in Mali and the Central African Republic, the Emergency Relief Coordinator says much more is needed to provide vital supplies.

“We need $13 billion if we are to help 73 million people this year. That’s an extra $.6 billion to raise by the end of the year. I have no idea how to it. Many of our donor partners are in the midst of difficult economic circumstances themselves, but with the lives and livelihoods of millions of families at stake, there is little choice, but be supportive.”

UN humanitarian agency heads have been asking donors to finance the Syria crisis separately and are stepping up appeals to all UN member states.

The High Commissioner for Refugees is due to visit China shortly.

Yvette Morris, UN Radio, Geneva.

Duration: 1’42″

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