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UN Seeks $3.8 Billion For Humanitarian Emergencies

UN seeks $3.8 billion for humanitarian emergencies in 24 countries

The United Nations today appealed Speaking at the launch of the Humanitarian Appeal 2008 this morning in Geneva, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said that "many humanitarian crises involving conflict continue, in Somalia, Sudan, the occupied Palestinian territory, and the DRC to name just a few - and people living in such extreme circumstances will need continued generosity in 2008.

"Floods, hurricanes, cyclones, and drought also struck more frequently in 2007, and this trend points to a future where aid agencies, and the world's vulnerable poor, will have to respond ever more frequently to climate-related disasters," he added.

The Appeal is made up of ten consolidated appeals for the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, the DRC, the occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, the West African region and Zimbabwe.

Some 188 organizations - including UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other international organizations - come together through the Appeal to meet the world's major humanitarian challenges in a strategic, coordinated, effective and prioritized way.

Mr. Holmes urged generosity among donors, noting that "although we know that legislators face many competing priorities, we are asking for merely a few cents of humanitarian aid for every hundred dollars of national income."

Also present at today's launch were UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres; Secretary-General of CARE International, Robert Glasser; and Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson.

Citing some examples from the current year, he highlighted the important humanitarian work being done with the funds provided by these appeals, including the provision of safe water and sanitation to over 450,000 people in Somalia, as well as emergency job creation and cash assistance to 130,000 families in the occupied Palestinian territory.

He noted that the 2008 Appeal does not account for the full amount of the funds required for the year, and that two or three additional appeals were expected to be launched in the coming weeks and months, including for Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka and Iraq.

Nor does the consolidated appeal include the so-called "flash appeals," which arise from individual natural disasters. "This year we issued 15 flash appeals, which is five more than in any previous year for natural disasters. We really see a very clear relationship between climate change and that number of appeals. Fourteen of the natural disasters are extreme weather related."

Also present at today's launch were UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres; Secretary-General of CARE International, Robert Glasser; and Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson.


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