News / Middle East

    UN Appeals for Record $13 Billion for Millions in Need

    A recently arrived refugee from Mali is helped loading her rations of rice, oil and sugar onto a truck at the M'Berra refugee camp for Malian refugees in southeastern Mauritania, March 2, 2013. (Nyani Quarmyne/MSF)
    A recently arrived refugee from Mali is helped loading her rations of rice, oil and sugar onto a truck at the M'Berra refugee camp for Malian refugees in southeastern Mauritania, March 2, 2013. (Nyani Quarmyne/MSF)
    Lisa Schlein
    The United Nations says it needs a record $13 billion to help an unprecedented 73 million people in 24 countries until the end of the year.  A mid-year review of the U.N.’s multi-billion-dollar Humanitarian Appeal 2013 shows needs are increasing and more money is required.  
     
    In December, the United Nations launched an appeal on behalf of 57 million people in desperate need of help in 24 countries.  In just a few short months, the number of people needing help spiked to 73 million.
     
    The United Nations attributes this increase to the crisis in Syria as well as the deteriorating situation in countries such as the Central African Republic and Mali.
    • Defected Syrian policeman Adnan al-Hamod lights a kerosene lamp inside an underground shelter he made to protect his family from Syrian government shelling and airstrikes, Jirjanaz village, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • Nihal, 9, puts olive tree branches inside a wooden stove at an underground Roman tomb which her family uses for shelter, Jabal al-Zaweya, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • Nadia, 53, steps out of an underground Roman tomb used as shelter from shelling and airstrikes, Jabal al-Zaweya, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • Sami, 32, steps into an underground Roman tomb used for shelter from Syrian government shelling and airstrikes, Jabal al-Zaweya, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • A Free Syrian Army fighter, Abu Mohammed, speaks inside a cave used for shelter from Syrian government shelling and airstrikes, Jabal al-Zaweya, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • Syrian children walk out of an underground tunnel that their father made with a jackhammer for shelter from Syrian government forces shelling and airstrikes, Jirjanaz village, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • Sobhi al-Hamod, 60, stands inside an underground shelter he made using a jackhammer to protect his family from Syrian government forces shelling and airstrikes, Jirjanaz, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.
    • Nihal, 9, looks at the entrance of an underground Roman tomb used as shelter from Syrian government shelling and airstrikes, Jabal al-Zaweya, Idlib province, Syria, Feb. 28, 2013.

    To date, the United Nations has received just more than $5 billion from its appeal.
     
    Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said in a normal year this would be a huge amount of money.  But this is an extraordinary year requiring extraordinary measures.
     
    “The people in the Central African Republic, Niger, Afghanistan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, and Chad among many others need help to feed their families, to treat malnourished children and to get safe drinking water and other essential supplies," said Amos. "That money that has been given to us so far has been used, for example, in South Sudan to provide nearly 450,000 people with safe drinking water.  In Mali, nutrition agencies have been able to treat around 77,000 children suffering from life-threatening or acute malnutrition.”  
     
    Some country situations have worsened since the beginning of the year.  But the mid-term humanitarian action review shows the severity of emergencies has lessened in other places.  It says countries such as Kenya, Mauritania, South Sudan and Somalia are reducing their appeals, though millions of people there will require ongoing assistance.  
     
    Amos said the United Nations has to raise an extra $8.6 billion by the end of the year because of the expanding needs, adding that the consequences of not getting the money are grim.
     
    “We are always focused on the people who are most vulnerable, who are most in need," she said. "It means that some of those people do not get the safe water they need. They do not get the shelter that they need. They do not get the food that they need. They do not get the health care that they need.”  
     
    Syria remains the biggest emergency.  The United Nations notes nearly seven-million people inside the country and around 1.8 million Syrian refugees in the region are in need of help.  At the same time, U.N. Humanitarian Chief Amos said Syria must not suck all the money out of the system. Millions of people in so-called forgotten crises such as the Central African Republic and Mali also are in need of help.   

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora