Global appeal for $2.2bn to help 85 million people in emergenciesListen /
A global appeal has been launched for $2.2 billion to help 85 million people facing conflict and natural disasters in 50 countries.
Almost 40 per cent of the appeal by the UN Children's Agency (UNICEF) is for Syria and the region where the organisation says humanitarian and development aid is urgently needed.
Claire Doole reports from Geneva.
UNICEF's crisis appeal for 2.2 billion USD is the largest on record, exceeding its most recent call in October for 1.7 billion dollars.
Almost 40 per cent of the money is to tackle the impact of Syria's civil war. Children make up a major proportion of the millions of Syrian's who have had to flee their homes.
All told UNICEF wants to provide humanitarian aid to 59 million children in 50 war and disaster stricken countries this year, as well as 26 million adults.
The head of emergency operations, Ted Chaiban has just returned from South Sudan where fighting broke out between government and rebel forces in December.
"The rain is coming in 6 to 8 weeks and the whole place becomes swamped and if you don’t move now to pre-position the supplies, strengthen the services, have the resources in place to be able to address the issues like malaria, diarrhoeal diseases, and the risk of cholera, then we could be facing the catastrophe in 45 to 60 days.
The agency says many other countries not in the headlines such as Colombia, Somalia and Yemen are also in urgent need of funding and humanitarian aid.
Claire Doole for UN Radio in Geneva.