UN releases revised global humanitarian appeal

17 July 2013, Geneva: UN Humanitarian Chief at the launch of the revised global humanitarian appeal for 2013. "This is an extraordinary year, and extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. We need $13 billion if we are to help 73 million people this year.” Credit: UN/Jean-Marc FerreThe UN and its humanitarian partners have revised their global humanitarian plans for 2013, and are now appealing for nearly US$13 billion to provide assistance to tens of millions of people in 24 countries. This is the largest annual amount requested in the history of Consolidated Humanitarian Appeals. This revision replaces the global appeal that was launched in December 2012 and updated in January to include appeals for Haiti and Djibouti. The revised appeal also captures the appeals for Syria and surrounding countries. It reflects the collective planning of 620 humanitarian aid organizations.

The revision was announced this morning by the United Nations Humanitarian Chief, Valerie Amos, at the 2013 ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment in Geneva.

“When we launched the 2013 humanitarian appeal, we were initially asking for support to help 57 million people in 24 countries,” said Ms Amos.

“But this is an extraordinary year, and extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. We need $13 billion if we are to help 73 million people this year.”

Syrian crisis drives increase
At the halfway point of each year, UN agencies and their humanitarian partners revise their collective plans and appeals to ensure they reflect the evolving needs of vulnerable communities, and as a way of measuring humanitarian progress.

A large part of the increase can be attributed to the worsening crisis in Syria and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people into neighbouring countries. In early June, the UN and its partners increased their appeals for Syria and the region to $4.4 billion.

Elsewhere, humanitarian organizations increased their appeals for 2013 in countries including the Central African Republic, where the situation has deteriorated in the past six months and Mali, where improved humanitarian access means that humanitarian agencies can achieve more.

“People in the Central African Republic, Niger, Afghanistan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen and Chad, among many others, need help to feed their families, to treat malnourished children, and to get safe drinking water and other essential supplies,” said Ms Amos.

At the same time, a number of countries – Kenya, Mauritania, South Sudan and Somalia – reduced their requirements, as the scale and severity of needs have eased slightly.

40 per cent of funding received
So far, the UN and its humanitarian partners have received approximately 40 per cent of the funding they now need. While praising this support, Ms Amos urged donors to make new resources available to meet the “extraordinary” needs of vulnerable communities in 2013. A further $7.8 billion is still needed.

“Halfway through the year … donors have generously provided $5.1 billion for humanitarian organizations to deliver critical aid to people in 24 countries,” continued Valerie Amos.

“In a normal year that would be a huge statement of the commitment to humanitarian action, but this is an extraordinary year. The lives and livelihoods of millions of families (are) at stake. The humanitarian community must support them. I hope that our donors will too.”