UN: $40bn needed to aid people in war, disasters

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New York - A United Nations-appointed panel says an estimated $40bn is needed annually to help the fast-growing number of people needing humanitarian aid as a result of conflicts and natural disasters - and there's a $15bn funding gap.

One recommendation for raising money is a small voluntary "solidarity levy" or tax - possibly on tickets for soccer games and other sports, concert and entertainment events, airline travel and gasoline.

The report on humanitarian financing, to be launched in Dubai on Sunday by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, says the world is spending around $25bn today to provide life-saving assistance to 125 million people devastated by wars and natural disasters - more than 12 times the $2bn it spent in 2000.

But it says that's still not enough.

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