UN wants record $20.1bn for aid work in 2016

2015-12-07 19:25
WHO (Picture: AFP)

WHO (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The United Nations appealed Monday for a record $20.1bn to provide aid to a surging number of people hit by conflicts and disasters around the globe.

"Suffering in the world has reached levels not seen in a generation," said UN humanitarian aid chief Stephen O'Brien.

"Conflicts and disasters have driven millions of children, women and men to the edge of survival," he said in a statement launching the annual aid appeal, stressing: "They desperately need our help."

The global appeal from UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations aims to gather funds to help more than 87.6  of the about 125 million people expected to require assistance next year.

Conflicts and serious crises are raging in 27 countries, and six of them - the Central African Republic, Burundi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen - have spilled over to surrounding regions, bringing the total number of countries currently in peril to a staggering 37, the UN said.

The conflicts have already forced more than 60 million people to flee their homes worldwide, with those escaping violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan especially sparking Europe's biggest migration crisis since World War II.

"Mass movement of people, be it refugees or people fleeing within their own countries, has become the new defining reality of the 21st century," UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres said.

"The international humanitarian system is all too often the only safety net that exists for people fleeing wars," he said, insisting: "It has to be funded on a scale that's realistic and commensurate with today's immense challenges."

Funding gap

With so many conflicts raging out of control, the UN said the amount needed next year was five times more than what it requested a decade ago.

The appeal also dwarfs the $16.4bn requested last December in the initial appeal for 2015.

But as needs soar, donor countries are increasingly struggling to fund a multitude of often chronically underfunded aid programmes.

Donors have only managed to provide 49% of the amount needed this year, and full funding of the 2015 appeal is highly unlikely.

"Humanitarian organisations approach the end of this year with a funding gap of a record $10.2bn," the UN statement said, warning that the shortfall in funds was having very dire consequences on the ground.

The World Food Programme has for instance been forced to scale back desperately needed assistance for Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, even temporarily halting food handouts to hundreds of thousands of refugees in Jordan.

"It is clear that with the present level of resources, we are not able to provide even the very minimum in both core protection and life-saving assistance," Guterres said.

World Health Organisation chief Margaret Chan also stressed the desperate need for more funds.

"The number of people now affected by conflicts and other crises is unprecedented, with an unprecedented impact on their health," she said in the statement.

"[The] WHO and its partners are committed to ensuring that everyone, especially women and children, get the healthcare they desperately need," she said.

"But we urgently require more funding in order to do so."

Read more on:    un  |  who  |  aid

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.