UN agencies appeal for humanitarian funding

  • After a dismal 2015 of mass refugee flows, war and catastrophe, leading U.N. agencies and their partners announced that they are seeking over $20 billion in funding next year — the largest humanitarian appeal in history.

  • The United Nations agencies for health, refugees and humanitarian assistance known as WHO, UNHCR and OCHA and their partner organisations want to help some 87 million people in 37 countries including Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Iraq next year. They are the most vulnerable people among an estimated 125 million in need in total, officials said.
  • The agencies are already running short — they say they are only half-funded in their 2015 appeals for $19.9 billion and face a total funding gap of $10.2 billion, which is also a record.
  • The funds, mostly from governments, go to medical support, food, shelter, protection and other aid for vulnerable or displaced people.
  • The appeals are to help cover all sorts of human miseries, such as those caused by war and natural disasters.
  • The agencies noted that worldwide, some 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes in recent years — the highest level in the post-war era.
  • Natural disasters are expected to worsen next year due to the weather event known as El Niño, which has already led to record droughts in parts of South America and Africa.
  • But the wars in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen will remain the “greatest drivers of prolonged humanitarian needs” in 2016, the agencies said in a statement.
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