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UN Urges Donations for World's 'Forgotten Crises'

The United Nations is urging government leaders to remember what it calls the forgotten humanitarian crises around the world.

Meeting in Geneva Tuesday, U.N. officials and international aid groups are hoping to harness the incredible outpouring of donations for tsunami victims in southern Asia. They say it is important to ensure funding for relief operations in other disaster-stricken areas affecting more than 26 million people.

U.N. emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, said one thousand people die each day, for example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a result of disease and internal conflict. He said this is like having a tsunami hitting that country every five months.

The United Nations has launched a consolidated appeal for $1.7 billion for 2005, covering 14 crises - many of them in Africa. That appeal is in addition to the crisis in Sudan, which U.N. officials call the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.