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UN appeals for $22.5 bn humanitarian aid for 2018

IANS | United Nations |

The United Nations has appealed for a record $ 22.5 billion in humanitarian aid for 2018.

The global aid appeal aims to raise funds to help 91 million of the world’s most vulnerable people, out of 136 million in need, a UN statement said on Friday, BBC reported.

More than $10 billion is needed to address the humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen alone, it added.

The UN also said needs are rising substantially in a number of African countries.

Driven by conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, the number of people in need of humanitarian aid has increased by more than 5 per cent, according to UN co-ordinator Mark Lowcock.

The targeted fund is a 1 per cent increase on the amount requested last year. By the end of November, the agency had raised nearly $13 billion — which the UN says is record levels of funding.

More than a third of the fund requested is to address the needs created by the devastating civil war in Syria: $3.5 billion to provide humanitarian aid inside the war-ravaged country and $4.2 billion to help the 5.4 million registered Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.

In Yemen, which is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the UN says $2.5 billion is needed to assist those most desperately in need.

The UN has acknowledged they aim to cover the needs of only half of the 20 million people in Yemen who are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Eleven million of those are children and 400,000 are affected by severe acute malnutrition.

Each of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan are in need of more than a billion dollars of aid to assist the most vulnerable.

The UN statement also said that in some other countries, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mali, and Ukraine, humanitarian needs have declined.