Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Appel à contributions de sept milliards de dollars pour l'aide humanitaire en 2009 - Centre d'actualités de l'ONU (19 novembre 2008) Français
Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
United Nations News Service (See also > DPI)
19 November 2008

UN seeks $7 billion in humanitarian aid for 2009, by far its largest ever appeal

19 November 2008 – The United Nations today launched its largest ever annual humanitarian appeal, seeking $7 billion for urgent aid to 30 million people in 31 countries, dwarfing by far last year’s call for $3.8 billion for 25 million people.

“Our aim is to help these most vulnerable people survive the coming year, and enable them to start working their way out of vulnerability and despair towards the dignity, safety and self-sufficiency to which every human being has a right,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in the foreword to the Humanitarian Appeal 2009, which seeks help to the myriad victims of conflicts, natural disasters, climate change and surging food prices.

By far the biggest appeal ever launched since the creation of the UN Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) in 1991, it covers 12 countries or regions – the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Iraq and region, Kenya, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, the West African region, and Zimbabwe.

In formulating this year’s CAP, which was launched in Geneva, 360 aid organizations including UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other international bodies united to meet the world's major humanitarian challenges in a strategic, coordinated, effective, and prioritized way.

The biggest requirement is for Sudan at just over $2 billion, with the appeal for the DRC up from $600 million last year to $830 million. The number of targeted countries has gone up and includes a regional appeal for refugees from Iraq, covering seven countries. Otherwise the list is similar to last year’s, with the addition of Kenya.

“Millions of people continue to struggle with long-running conflicts, natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and high food prices. The 2009 Appeal offers concrete help to these people in distress,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said, stressing that the $7 billion sought amounted to only a few cents for every $100 of national income in rich countries.

He noted that funding for 2008 so far had been better than ever in terms of percentage funded – at 67 per cent – though it was “never enough” as there were many projects that were only partially funded, and some projects which were not funded at all.

Despite the strains of the global financial crisis, humanitarian budgets should not only be maintained but increased as needs rise due to a number of factors, including climate change and the global food crisis, Mr. Holmes said.

He added that he was particularly pleased that the NGO share of the appeal had increased; it is 52 per cent this year. UN-NGO partnership and cooperation was increasing as a result of mutual efforts to bolster collaboration.

“In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), around 250,000 people are believed to have been displaced in the last two months and the situation is becoming increasingly desperate,” UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Deputy Executive Director Frafjord Johnson said, referring to the surge in fighting between Government and rebel forces in the east of the vast country.

She said more than 100,000 children were “on the run” in North Kivu and South Kivu provinces, either with their families or separated from them. Some 3 million people in the east were affected in one way or another, either fleeing fighting or hosting the displaced. There was no doubt that there had been a spike in recruitment of children by armed groups and sexual violence had increased, with clear evidence of children and women being raped.

In Somalia, while the hijacking of ships by pirates was galvanizing media attention, some 180,000 children were acutely malnourished, Ms. Johnson said. UNICEF was critically in need of funding to reach many of those children, many of whom would otherwise die.

The overall humanitarian aid bill for 2009 is expected to go way beyond the $7 billion requested today, since the CAP does not include the so-called “flash appeals” which are launched throughout the year to meet the needs of new natural disasters as they arise.

Mr. Holmes presided over today’s launching ceremony, which was also attended by Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Elisabeth Rasmusson and UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Kenya Aeneas Chuma.

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter