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World must fund UN relief appeals while addressing conflict’s root causes, Annan says

World must fund UN relief appeals while addressing conflict’s root causes, Annan says

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the international community to fully fund the world body’s joint appeal for $3 billion to provide food, shelter, medicine and other life-saving assistance to 50 million victims of conflict, natural disaster and other emergencies.

In a statement issued by a UN spokesman, Mr. Annan urged donor countries to contribute generously, on the basis of need, to ensure that aid is fairly allocated among countries and sectors.

The countries and regions covered by this year’s “Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeals” are Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea and Indonesia. Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, the countries of southern Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, Chechnya and neighbouring republics in the Russian Federation, and the occupied Palestinian territory comprise the rest.

“These are all places where humanitarian needs are especially acute – where there has been extensive violence and/or loss of life, prolonged drought, massive displacements of people, disruption of economic activities and widespread damage to infrastructure,” the statement noted. “Such devastation and despair can only be addressed through large-scale, multi-faceted humanitarian assistance.”

Looking to the broader picture, the Secretary-General called for redoubled efforts to address the root causes of conflict and other crises, “so that people gain not only relief from their most immediate distress, but also hope for full recovery, development and the resumption of normal life.”