14 December 2012

Africa: Humanitarian Community Needs $8.5 Bln for 16 Countries Hit By Emergencies

Aid agencies are collectively appealing for US$ 8.5 billion to respond to the humanitarian needs of some 51 million people in 16 countries in 2013. The figure, higher than any previous such appeal, was announced Friday by the heads of WFP, OCHA and Caritas Internationalis at a press conference at WFP's Rome headquarters.

ROME - With millions of people caught in the midst of natural disasters and conflict, the humanitarian community has launched its largest annual funding appeal to date to respond to emergency needs in 16 crisis-affected countries.

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin hosted the launch of the 2013 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP), which was chaired by Valerie Amos, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator. Every year the CAP allows UN agencies, NGOs and the Red Cross Movement to together plan and coordinate their response to humanitarian crises, including strategies, funding and operations.

"Working jointly in these 16 countries, we are strengthening our response. We are meeting the urgent humanitarian needs for food security and nutrition, shelter, water, health and other basic needs, while simultaneously helping communities recover from emergencies. A unified response can save lives and help communities become more resilient," said Cousin, who was joined at the launch by Michel Roy, Secretary-General of Caritas Internationalis.

This year, 520 aid agencies are requesting US$8.5 billion through the CAP. These funds are expected to cover the needs of 51 million people in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

'Restore self-sufficiency'

"As we enter 2013, there are millions of people around the world who are affected by disasters and conflicts. It is imperative that we meet their urgent humanitarian needs, help them restore self-sufficiency and dignity, and help build more resilient communities," said Amos.

As well as being a call for funds, a consolidated appeal serves as a detailed work plan and continuous frame of reference for large-scale, sustained humanitarian action. It is a compilation of response plans and resource requirements from many aid organizations and aims to ensuring a framework within which each organization can contribute to the overall response.

"The ongoing global economic crisis means that fewer resources are available. Yet we are seeing large numbers of people living in crisis situations due to poverty, conflict and natural disasters. By working together, international humanitarian organizations can reach those in desperate need of our services," said Roy.

As part of the new global appeal, WFP is requesting US$3 billion for food assistance operations in the 16 countries. The figure also covers logistics and telecommunications operations connected to the food assistance. WFP leads the logistics and emergency telecoms 'clusters', coordinating these aspects of complex humanitarian relief operations when several agencies and organisations are involved.

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