UN chief urges increased funding to tackle humanitarian crises


Tehran : Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday called for increased funding of global humanitarian operations this year.

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According to a press release issued by the UN Information Center (UNIC) issued here on Wednesday, he noted that aid requirements are rising and that it is vital to have resources ready to help those affected by both natural and man-made disasters.

“Collectively, we all need to make extra efforts to secure sufficient and predictable funding for urgent, life-saving humanitarian work. We should not leave the resourcing of humanitarian action to chance,” Ban said in an address to delegates attending the Humanitarian Funding Conference in Geneva.

The global humanitarian appeal for 2011, which was launched last November, seeks $7.4 billion to help 50 million people in 28 countries. It is the largest amount of funds ever sought in an annual humanitarian appeal since the creation in 1991 of the Consolidated Appeals Process, which sums up appeals by UN and non-UN humanitarian agencies into a single funding request.

The 2011 appeal comprises humanitarian action plans for the West African region, as well as for Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Haiti, Kenya, Niger, the occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

“Humanitarian needs are growing. The international humanitarian system helps governments to help their own people. More people are relying on us for life-saving and life-sustaining support. More support is needed than ever before,” Ban said.

The secretary-general highlighted the international response to the earthquake in Haiti and the massive floods in Pakistan last year that helped to alleviate the suffering of those affected.

“I visited both of these disaster zones and saw the difference that support was making in people’s lives. The global response to these tragedies was encouraging. But we know that not all emergencies receive the same attention or resources. Many appeals have had very low levels of funding. We need to reverse that trend in 2011,” Ban said.

“Some countries have enjoyed spectacular growth and now rank among the world’s largest economies. Humanitarian giving has also expanded. Many more member states contribute to Consolidated Appeals now than ten years ago. This is encouraging, and this trend must continue,” he added.

He urged member states to share information on their aid budgets in advance to make planning for humanitarian interventions easier.

The secretary-general said the UN will continue to emphasize the need to improve disaster risk reduction and preparedness, as well as climate change adaptation measures to mitigate damage and suffering in times of emergency.

Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said tens of millions of people will require assistance to survive this year due to conflicts and natural disasters.

“Many are the most vulnerable people in the world, suffering from malnutrition, disease, or violence,” said Ms. Amos. “This appeal is asking for the resources needed to respond quickly,” she added.