UN seeks $7,1-billion for emergency relief in 2010

The United Nations called on richer governments on Monday to provide a total of $7,1-billion in 2010 to fund urgent humanitarian assistance for 48-million people in 25 countries.

It was the largest sum sought for such aid, in what is known as the annual Humanitarian Appeal, since the world body started making consolidated calls for funding to tackle crises in different parts of the world in 1991.

”Our aim is to help people survive the coming year, and start working their way out of vulnerability towards the dignity, safety and self-sufficiency to which every human being has a right,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Ban’s remarks, in a foreword to the text of the appeal issued in Geneva, was coupled with a call from his top humanitarian relief coordinator John Holmes for major governments not to cut aid because of the economic crisis.

Funds collected in the Consolidated Appeal Process are shared among about 380 aid organisations, including UN agencies, NGOs and other international bodies working in the relief field.

All have worked together to compile the appeal and detail the needs of the countries and regions it targets, which include Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, the occupied Palestinian territories, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

”We are here to ask for a response to the urgent call of people whose lives have been wrecked by conflict and natural disasters,” Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told a Geneva news conference.

He noted that many governments were engaged in financial bail-outs and economic stimulus packages on the domestic front, putting pressure on other budget needs.

”My most important message for you here today is that humanitarian aid should be insulated from these budget pressures,” declared Holmes, a Briton.

If financial assistance for humanitarian crises were cut, he added, ”the people desperately affected by the severest natural disasters and conflicts will pay the price for a recession not of their making.”

The $7,1-billion being sought for 2010, Holmes declared, ”is far less than one percent of the amount spent [in developed countries] on financial bailouts and economic stimulus.” — Reuters

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Why Prasa chief executive Zolani Matthews was axed

Zolani Matthews has been fired after an investigation found he deliberately and intentionally failed to disclose that he holds British citizenship

Shell’s seismic survey will cause ‘irreparable harm’ to sea life,...

Shell says commencing now is the “most appropriate step to take”

Animal welfare bill being developed in isolation

Two government departments are working separately and animal rights groups are not being consulted, concerned groups say

Fourth wave looms as Covid cases spike above 8 500

More than 6 000 of those cases in the past day were recorded in Gauteng alone

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…