UN revises 2017 humanitarian appeal to $23.5bn

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The United Nations, UN and relief partners have revised their 2017 global aid appeal to $23.5 billion up nearly six per cent from the original $22.2 billion announced late 2016.

Stephen O’Brien, the UN Emergency Relief Coordination and head of the UN Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said at the annual Economic and Social Council Humanitarian Affairs Segment in Geneva that the review aimed to assist over 101 million people.

This is just as the report stated that the Nigeria’s humanitarian appeal funding stood at 296.7 million dollars out of a total funding requirements of $1.05 billion, representing 28.1 per cent funding.

Coinciding with the Humanitarian Affairs Segment, OCHA on Wednesday also launched the Global Humanitarian Overview 2017 Status Report, which documents evidence humanitarians efforts to assist the world’s most vulnerable people.

“According to the Status Report, UN and partners have provided life-saving assistance to 5.8 million people in Yemen and over three million people in South Sudan.

“Also 2.7 million people in Somalia and 2.2 million affected by the Syria crisis have received food.

“In north-eastern Nigeria, over 2.3 million people have received both emergency food assistance and livelihood support through UN-coordinated plans,” the OCHA report said.

According to a statement issued by OCHA, the review followed number of people in need of humanitarian assistance around the world, which reached record levels.

The report said new natural and man-made disasters as well as deteriorating protracted emergencies had resulted in an additional eight million people around the world needing assistance.

“Since its launch on Dec. 5, 2017, donors had provided about 6.2 billion dollars for the 2017 global appeal. However, with more than half of the year still remaining and needs rising, more is needed.

“With generous donor support, humanitarian partners have swiftly scaled up to deliver record levels of life-saving assistance in challenging and often dangerous environments.

“But we are in a race against time. People’s lives and well-being depend on increasing our collective support,” O’Brien said.

“Some of the crises that pushed up the requirements included the rapid escalation of violence in Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as a drought in Kenya, tropical cyclones in Madagascar and Mozambique, and flooding in Peru, as well as looming famines across north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.”

The revised appeal aims to reach over 101 million highly vulnerable people among the estimated 141 million people across 37 countries in need of humanitarian assistance, O’Brien said.

“Funding to response plans is a high-impact investment as they are prioritized on the basis of thorough needs assessment and analysis. Supporting the plans also provides the most neutral and impartial aid,” he noted.

The OCHA chief called on the international community to step up assistance saying “we now need donors to set the bar higher and increase their support”.

The Humanitarian Affairs Segment, being held from June 21 to 23 is a major global platform to discuss activities and issues related to strengthening UN’s humanitarian response around the globe.

The forum also provides a key opportunity for UN Member States, Organizational entities, humanitarian and development partners and the affected communities to discuss emerging and pressing humanitarian issues.

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