UN launches record aid appeal of $22.2bn for 2017

Appeal comes as crises in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and South Sudan have compounded the UN’s 2016 funding shortage.

Women and children queue to receive emergency food at the U.N. protection of civilians site 3 hosting about 30,000 people displaced during the recent fighting in Juba
South Sudanese women and children queue for emergency food at a UN site hosting about 30,000 fleeing fighting in Juba [Reuters]
Correction5 Dec 2016
The headline of this article previously put the appeal at $22.7bn. The correct amount is $22.2bn.

The United Nations needs a record $22.2bn to cover humanitarian relief projects next year, covering the needs of 93 million people in 33 countries, UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said on Monday.

“This is a reflection of a state of humanitarian need in the world not witnessed since the second world war,” he told a news conference, adding that 80 percent of the needs stemmed from man-made conflicts, such as those in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Nigeria and South Sudan.

 Aid shortage leaves Iraq’s displaced suffering

According to Financial Trancing Service (FTS), a UN-managed site tracking humanitarian aid, as of November 30, 2016’s humanitarian aid appeals were funded at 51.4 percent.

The World Food Programme (WFT), which has launched an emergency response in Yemen, calculates that millions of people there are on the brink of famine.

Additionally, protracted wars in Syria and Iraq have lead to a crisis of millions of refugees, as well as internally displaced people.

Funding shortfalls for those crises have already left the UN’s refugee and children’s agencies (UNHCR and UNICEF) struggling to meet the needs of families fleeing violence in great numbers.

The world is now seeing the highest number of refugees and internally displaced populations since World War II.

According to the UNHCR, there are currently 65.3 million people forcibly displaced in the world, with half of them being children.

Roughly 1,000 people have been leaving Mosul each day, where US-backed forces have been fighting ISIL fighters since October.

Syrians have been escaping eastern Aleppo in massive numbers, with 20,000 leaving in 72 hours in late November, as Syrian government forces advance on rebel-held territory in the city.

President Barack Obama held a Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in September during the UN General Assembly in New York, where 50 world leaders pledged billions in commitments to help with the crisis.

However, few details have been released in terms of details regarding how much member states will pay, and on what kind of timeline those commitments will be paid. 

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies