Humanitarians appeal for action ahead of global summit

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A young girl shelters from the rain in Baharka IDP Camp, in northern Iraq (October 2014). Photo: OCHA/Brandon Bateman

Global leaders are being urged to find a solution to end the suffering that is affecting millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa.

The appeal comes from eight UN aid officials in the region, ahead of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey later this month.

Dianne Penn reports.

Widespread violence, conflict and extremism in countries in the Middle East and North Africa have generated "immense humanitarian needs," the UN officials say.

Fifty-five million people there need humanitarian assistance just to survive, and the impact is also being felt beyond the region.

"We have a shared responsibility to end this tragedy and preserve people's basic dignity. Our humanity demands no less," they said in a joint statement issued on Thursday.

The Humanitarian Coordinators called on world leaders to attend the Summit and "make it a success."

They also urged leaders to "assume their responsibility" to find political solutions to end the bloodshed and prevent further suffering.

For their part, the aid officials have committed to "leaving no one behind."

They also pledged to work differently to, in their words, "end the need for aid and handouts, build resilience and enhance the role and capacity of local responders."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’02″

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