Iran Press TV

UN renews appeal for increased humanitarian funds

Iran Press TV

Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:21PM

The United Nations has issued a new appeal for humanitarian funds from donor countries, saying the current finances only suffice a quarter of what is needed worldwide.

The UN said on Wednesday that about $23.5 million were required for humanitarian assistance programs around the world this year, adding that only a fourth of that sum had been received.

"New disasters and deteriorating protracted emergencies are driving up the numbers," the UN said in a statement.

The United Nations is currently providing food and other life-saving humanitarian aid items to people affected by war in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Estimates suggest that about 20 million people face famine in countries such as Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

The UN had initially appealed for 22.2 billion this year but more conflicts and natural disasters made it ask for an extra one billion dollars. It says the total number of people needing aid has reached a record 141 million in 37 countries as a result of flooding in Peru, drought in Kenya and escalating violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Stephen O'Brien, the UN emergency relief coordinator, said there was the need for an increased support to the poor and war-affected people across the world.

"Donors have invested in these efforts but we are in a race against time. People's lives and well-being depend on increasing our collective support," O'Brien said in a statement.

The revised appeal comes amid warnings from the United States that it could reduce its contribution to UN humanitarian programs. President Donald Trump, who took office in January, has said his administration is reviewing donations. Washington has contributed more than $1.5 billion to UN aid programs this year.

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