(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) NEW YORK, June 28 (KUNA) -- The UN-coordinated inter-agency humanitarian appeal is calling for USD 21.6 billion to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable 95.4 million people among them, said UN Relief Chief.
Presenting the Global Humanitarian Overview Status Report for 2016, the Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O''Brien said since last year, after he outlined priority needs across 37 countries, the needs have soared even higher, with 130 million people in 40 countries now needing assistance just to survive.
At the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Humanitarian Affairs Segment, that kicked off its three-day activities, the UN official told the gathered UN Member States, UN organizations, humanitarian and development partners, the private sector and affected communities, "humanitarian suffering had already reached levels not seen since the Second World War." The 2016 appeals have received USD 5.5 billion in funding so far the highest amount ever received at mid-year- however, the UN humanitarian officials affirmed they are facing a "funding gap of USD 16.1 billion, due to the unrelenting exponential growth of humanitarian need.
O''Brien said the organization have supported millions of people around the world with life- saving aid each month of this year. To give some examples, collectively, they have enrolled 694,000 displaced children in school in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey; cleared 25 million square meters of land in South Sudan from mines and explosive remnants; vaccinated 4.7 million children against polio in Yemen, and delivered cross-line assistance to 820,000 people in Syria.
With USD 16.1 billion behind, O''Brien said the appeal will support millions of mothers to feed their malnourished children, it will help doctors give lifesaving care to children injured by bombing, it will help pastoralists keep their cattle alive, and it will help protect women and girls from sexual abuse and violence.
Also speaking at the ECOSOC segment, UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said during the five weeks since the World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul, thousands of people have been killed in conflict.
"Tens of thousands have been forced from their homes. Thousands of farmers and pastoralists have given up hope of making a living on land destroyed by drought, floods or sea level rise, related to climate change," he added.
The UN official urged all to be prepared to engage also for the long-term. "We aim to strengthen the understanding of the solutions outlined in the Agenda for Humanity, and to work with you to secure your continued commitment," he underlined.
Ban Ki-moon in his upcoming report on the Summit will propose ways to maintain the momentum and to advance the Agenda for Humanity and its Five Core Responsibilities. Therefore, Eliasson called member states for their active cooperation in this matter.
The annual ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment provides a platform for Member States, UN entities, humanitarian and development partners, the private sector and affected communities to discuss emerging and pressing humanitarian issues, as well as activities and issues related to strengthening the coordination of the UN''s humanitarian assistance. (end) mao.rk