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In biggest appeal ever, UN seeks $7.4 billion for humanitarian efforts in 2011

The United Nations today appealed for more than $7.4 billion to provide humanitarian assistance to 50 million people suffering from the effects of conflicts and natural disasters in 28 countries over the coming year.

Over 3 million people sign UN-drafted petition urging action to end hunger

A United Nations-drafted petition with the signatures of over three million people calling on world leaders to eliminate hunger was presented today to governments in Rome.

Achieving AIDS-free generation possible with stepped-up prevention – UN

Although 370,000 children are born with HIV each year, achieving an AIDS-free generation is possible if the world steps up efforts to provide universal access to prevention, treatment and social protection, according to a new United Nations report released today.

Asian parliamentarians urge national funding for disaster risk reduction – UN

Parliamentarians from 10 Asian countries have urged governments in the region to allocate at least one per cent of their national budgets to projects designed to strengthen disaster risk reduction, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) said today.

Swiss vote to expel convicted foreigners must not put refugees at risk, says UN

The United Nations refugee agency today called on Switzerland to abide by the policy of no forced returns in order to protect refugees and asylum-seekers amid this week’s vote on expelling foreigners convicted of serious crimes.

Ban discusses security with Central Asian leaders, stresses vital role of women

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today discussed security in Central Asia with regional leaders following recent unrest, and underscored the vital need to end gender-based violence and discrimination and empower women as essential building blocks in ensuring peace and stability.

Cricketers unite behind UN initiative to support people living with HIV/AIDS

International cricketers will show their support this week for a United Nations-backed initiative supporting people living with HIV and AIDS by wearing red ribbons on their playing shirts during matches.

Reported cholera cases in Haiti rise to 72,000 – UN agency

The number of reported cases of cholera in Haiti has risen to just over 72,000, including 1,648 deaths, the United Nations health agency said today, noting that fewer deaths are now being recorded than earlier in the epidemic, which erupted in late October.

Humanitarian agencies seek funds for cyclone emergency in Myanmar – UN

Humanitarian agencies in Myanmar require an estimated $53 million to respond to the needs of at least 260,000 people who were affected by Cyclone Giri that battered the western coast of the South-east Asian country last month, destroying thousands of homes, infrastructure and farms, the United Nations reported today.

Despite easing of Gaza blockade, situation still desperate, UN official warns

Despite encouraging developments in Gaza since Israel eased its blockade in June, with shops now full of consumer goods, the economic, humanitarian, and physical situation is still extremely bleak, the top United Nations official there said today, calling for speedy moves to revive the territory’s economy