Thursday, July 15, 2010

UN asks for 9.5 billion dollars for humanitarian aid

The outgoing coordinator for the United Nations humanitarian efforts says they need 9.5 billion dollars this year. John Holmes says the money is needed to help 53 million needy people in 34 different countries.

Member nations of the UN have not been giving as much as the UN budgets require. Many countries have been keeping the money to instead take on economic crises in their own land.

From this AFP article that we found at Google News, we read more of John Holmes' comments and see an unfulfilled pledge concerning Haiti.

Last November, UN officials initially appealed for 7.1 billion dollars for 2010, but that figure has now ballooned to 9.5 billion due to new crises, including Haiti's devastating earthquake in January and worsening food emergencies in Africa's Sahel region and in the Central African Republic.

Holmes' UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said roughly 48 percent of the appeals were now funded, leaving a shortfall of 4.9 billion dollars.

"Maintaining humanitarian aid budgets this year in the face of recession and pressure on budgets has been a real achievement by many donors," Holmes said.

"I urge them to keep up this effort to ensure that people struck by disaster or conflict receive the help they desperately need for the rest of the year," he added.

Holmes, a Briton, is to step down as OCHA head at the end of August and will be replaced by Valerie Amos, currently the British High Commissioner to Australia.

In Haiti, some 250,000 people were killed and 1.5 million left homeless in the January 12 earthquake, which ravaged much of the capital Port-au-Prince.

An international conference in New York in March pledged more than 10 billion dollars over five years for Haiti's reconstruction, but only a fraction of the promised aid has materialized.

1 comment:

Matt Davies said...

G8 countries can find nearly $1 billion to fund security for their meetings (estimated costs for G8/20 meeting in Toronto) but can't make good their pledges? Come on, who are they kidding!