UN appeals for €13.4billion for aid work in 2015
(AFP) The UN appealed Monday for 13.4 billion euros to provide aid to nearly 60 million people worldwide next year, with almost half the amount aimed at helping victims of Syria's drawn-out conflict.
"The rising scale of need is outpacing our capacity to respond," warned United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, stressing that 2014 has been marked by a sharp rise in the number of people affected by violent conflicts.
Some 102 million people worldwide were in need of aid at the end of November, she told reporters in Geneva.
The global appeal from UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations aims to gather funds to help at least 57.5 million of the most vulnerable across 22 countries. Monday's appeal did not however include the needs in Djibouti and the nine countries in Africa's Sahel region, including Nigeria and Mali, which will be addressed in a separate appeal in February, the UN said.
A full $7.2 billion of the amount requested for 2015 will be aimed at helping an estimated 18.2 million people victimised by Syria's bloody civil war, which erupted in March 2011.
The appeal is calling for $2.8 billion to help 12.2 million people inside the war-ravaged country next year, including 7.6 million people who have been internally displaced. Another $4.4 million will be needed to help more than three million Syrian refugees and some three million vulnerable people in overwhelmed host communities in neighbouring countries, the appeal said.
Helping millions of people affected by other crises will also require a large cash injection next year, with Syria's neighbour Iraq figuring high on the list.
'Not business as usual'
The crises in Central African Republic and South Sudan are also listed in the appeal, as is the spiralling conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Crises in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, the occupied Palestinian territories, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen will also require funds next year.
"This is not business as usual in the humanitarian world," said Antonio Guterres, head of the UN refugee agency.
The amount requested for 2015 dwarfs the $12.9 billion requested last December in the initial appeal for 2014.
Throughout a year that has seen millions more people flee violence and become dependent on aid to survive, those need estimates have since swelled to $17.9 billion to help over 76 million people.
Only 52 percent of that updated appeal has been funded, the UN said, highlighting a growing gap between needs and the resources available to cover them.
However, Amos announced that an emergency appeal to the public had closed a $64-million funding shortfall that caused the UN World Food Programme last week to suspend food aid to 1.7 million Syrian refugees.
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