UN agencies, partners seek $20 billion for humanitarian aid


Witnessing mass refugee flows, war and catastrophe in 2015, leading UN agencies and their partners announced on December 7 that they are seeking over USD 20 billion in funding the largest humanitarian appeal in history.

The agencies for health, refugees and humanitarian assistance such as WHO, UNHCR and OCHA and their partner organisations are seeking to help 87 million people in 37 countries including Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Iraq in 2016. According to officials, they are the most vulnerable people among an estimated 125 million in need.

The agencies are understood to face a crunch. They say they are only half-funded in their 2015 appeals for USD19.9 billion and face a total funding gap of USD 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.

 “Human suffering has reached levels not seen since the Second World War,” said Under Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs, Stephen O’Brien said. Mr O’Brien said natural disasters are expected to worsen next year due to El Niño, which has already led to record droughts in parts of South America and Africa.

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