Global: UN and partners launch record humanitarian appeal
The United Nations and its partners have today launched their humanitarian plans for 2014 with appeals totalling US$12.9 billion to support 52 million people in 17 countries with essential, life-saving aid. More than half of this funding is needed to support humanitarian efforts in Syria and neighbouring countries.
“This ($12.9 billion) is the largest amount we have ever had to request at the start of the year,” said UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos, speaking at the launch of the humanitarian plans in Geneva. “We count on the continued support from our partners as we work to save lives and support the millions of people caught in crisis.”
Syria: Fear of a deepening crisis
Complex crises in Syria and neighbouring countries, as well as in the Philippines and Yemen, have displaced or affected 35 million people, leaving them in need of emergency relief, protection and basic services to sustain them on a daily basis.
Ms. Amos noted that $6.5 billion of the total amount would support efforts in Syria and neighbouring countries, adding that this was the largest-ever appeal for a single crisis.
Some $2.3 billion of this $6.5 billion is for the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) for people inside Syria. The remaining $4.2 billion is for the Regional Response Plan 6 (RRP6), which helps Syrian refugees and communities in neighbouring countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
“We’re facing a terrifying situation here where, by the end of 2014, substantially more of the population of Syria could be displaced or in need of humanitarian help than not,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres.
“For now it remains of life-saving importance that the international humanitarian response is supported. Massive international solidarity is crucial.”
Philippines: Revised plan for Typhoon Haiyan
The humanitarian response plans include the revised Strategic Response Plan (SRP) for Typhoon Haiyan that struck the central Philippines just over one month ago. There, humanitarian organizations are now appealing for $791 million to assist communities for 12 months.
“The plan builds on the collective achievements of the Philippines Government and international humanitarian community during the first month of relief operations,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines, Luiza Carvalho, in a statement issued in Manila.
The SRP targets 3 million people for direct humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter and water and sanitation services. In addition, up to 7 million people will benefit from support provided to local health services covered under the plan. Five million vulnerable people, in particular among the millions who have been displaced by the storm, will benefit from protection-related programming which promotes people’s basic rights and security.
Central African Republic: Entire population needs aid
The response plans include $247 million for the Central African Republic (CAR). The protracted crisis in CAR has deteriorated into a major humanitarian emergency with more than half a million displaced and half the entire population in urgent need of aid.
“I have seen people in desperate circumstances in the Central African Republic and Yemen, the typhoon-devastated parts of the Philippines and in many other countries I have visited this year,” said Ms. Amos.
“It is hard to put into words their despair, but also the dignity with which they endure the most painful and difficult circumstances.
“I hope that Governments, private organizations and individuals who have been so generous this year will continue to support our efforts to save the lives and support the millions of people who through no fault of their own are caught in the midst of crises across the world in 2014.”
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