The United Nations refugee agency has added its voice to the call to the world’s wealthiest countries to give even more generously to the $3 billion Consolidated Appeal for 2004 launched by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to help 45 million people in 21 countries.
Launching the leg of the appeal focusing on Angola, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers told a ceremony in Dublin yesterday that it sought to highlight the human suffering caused by poverty, conflict, violence, natural disasters, ignorance and disease, including HIV/AIDS.
“In some places we find populations which have been simultaneously affected by all of these,” Mr. Lubbers said. “In many cases, those most in need are the elderly, the disabled, women and children.”
One of the main challenges, he added, was the need to find ways of encouraging the world’s wealthiest countries to give even more generously to help alleviate the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized people, particularly in the “forgotten emergencies.”
Yesterday, the heads of the UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization also called for a generous response.
The crises included in the 2004 appeal are: Angola, Burundi, Chechnya and neighbouring Republics (Russian Federation), Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire (plus 3 – Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, the Great Lakes Region, Guinea, Liberia, the occupied Palestinian territory, Sierra Leone, Somalia, the southern Africa region, the Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa and Zimbabwe.