Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, has called for sustained support to ease the suffering of refugees and internally displaced persons around the world.
Amos made the call during a news conference at the UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday.
He said that the call was important following violence and natural disasters that had driven unprecedented number of people from their homes in the past year.
She said millions had been affected by the deepening crisis in Syria, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines as well as inter-communal fighting in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
The envoy said that UN relief services would be needed more than ever in 2014, stressing that “2013 was a real test of the global humanitarian system’’.
Amos also said there was no indication that 2014 would be any different.
She recalled that two weeks ago, the organisation had launched its largest-ever funding appeal of 12.9 billion dollars, with the aim of providing life-saving aid to 52 million people in 17 countries.
According to her, of that amount, 6.5 billion dollars is being sought for some 9.3 million Syrians which is about 40 per cent of the population that required aid.
“Since then, developments in the Central African Republic and South Sudan had added tens of thousands more to the list of people in need.Our collective response capacity and resources are being stretched to the limit.
“In the former, where bloody unrest continued against a backdrop of abject poverty and a failing state, more than one in six people – over 800,000 people had been displaced, and nearly half a million faced hunger.
“In the latter country, the world’s youngest state, inter-communal fighting had forced 194,000 people from their homes, and more than 57,000 of them had sought protection in the bases of the UN peacekeeping mission there.
“The world body had aided some 107,000 people, and aimed to reach more than 600,000 in the first quarter of 2014,’’ she said.
She explained that in mid-January, the Secretary-General would chair the second Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait.
It aims at raising funds for emergency food, medicines, shelter, clean water and sanitation for millions of internally displaced Syrians or in neighbouring states. (NAN)
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