Rising humanitarian needs, costs "testing" world's response capacity

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Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Humanitarian needs and costs are rising far beyond the current capacity of the global humanitarian system to cope.

Valerie Amos, the UN humanitarian chief and Emergency Relief Coordinator made the announcement during a meeting on the future of humanitarian affairs.

The 2014 UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS) opened on Monday at UN headquarters in New York.

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are seeking a record $16.9 billion to help more than 50 million people around the world, she said.

"Between 2004 and 2013, humanitarian funding requests doubled from 6 billion to over 10 billion dollars. The number of people in need during the same period went from 30 to 70 million. We are seeking a record $16.9 billion to help more than 50 million people around the world."

Ms Amos recalled the ongoing crisis in Syria which she said "continued to test" the humanitarian community's response capacity.

She also pointed to the humanitarian situations in Yemen, the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) including the Gaza strip, Sudan and South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.

The three day annual meeting is a unique platform for Member States, UN agencies, humanitarian and development partners, the private sector and affected communities to discuss new and pressing humanitarian issues.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37”




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