U.N. Calls For $7.1B In Annual Aid Request

The U.N. on Monday called for “a total of $7.1 billion in 2010 to fund urgent humanitarian assistance for 48 million people in 25 countries,” Reuters reports (Evans, 11/30).

The 2010 appeal “is the largest ever since the creation of the Consolidated Appeal Process in 1991,” PTI/Business Standard writes (Sharma, 12/1). “Last year the appeal sought $7 billion, which was then a record,” according to the U.N. News Centre.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes launched the appeal in Geneva, which “covers 12 of the world’s most severe, prolonged crises: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, the occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa, Yemen and Zimbabwe” (11/30).

According to Holmes, the new request is “far less than one percent of the amount spent on financial bailouts and economic stimulus” that governments authorized in the wake of the global economic crisis, PTI/Business Standard reports (12/1). He also called for governments to maintain donations despite economic pressures related to the downturn, Xinhua reports. “Humanitarian aid should be insulated from these budget pressures because if not, the people desperately affected by the severest natural disasters and conflicts will pay the price for a recession not of their making,” he said (11/30). 

In a foreword to the text of the appeal, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, said, “Our aim is to help people survive the coming year, and start working their way out of vulnerability towards the dignity, safety and self-sufficiency to which every human being has a right,” according to Reuters (11/30).

The funding appeal is based on projections by at least 380 international agencies and NGOs, IRIN writes. “On average, donors eventually provide just over half the funding requested,” according to the news service. “By far the largest request is for Sudan and the ongoing Darfur crisis, where humanitarian projects are costed at $1.878 billion, a similar amount to last year’s; Afghanistan is in second place with $871 million; next, the Democratic Republic of Congo, which hosts the largest U.N. peacekeeping mission, at $828 million” (11/30). 

According to the Associated Press, “The funding appeal rose steepest for Yemen, where the U.N. wants $177 million to help tens of thousands of civilians driven from their homes in recent months by a government offensive against rebels in the north” (Jordans, 11/30).

Aid Requests For Zimbabwe, Somalia Decrease From 2009 Levels

This year’s appeal for Zimbabwe is about half of the 2009 appeal of $718 million, the Zimbabwean writes in an article examining the request for Zimbabwe. The aid request was lower “because a generally good harvest has reduced the number of severely food-insecure Zimbabweans,” according to the publication (Chanda, 11/30).

OCHA, the U.N. humanitarian agency, said it is seeking $689 million for 174 humanitarian projects in Somalia in 2010, Xinhua reports.” OCHA said there has been a 19 percent reduction of the amount requested from 849 million dollars in 2009,” the news service writes (11/30).

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