Top UN humanitarian official urges $10 billion in aid for world’s hot spots

5 March 2013

The United Nations humanitarian chief today urged the international community to dig into its wallet for the $10.4 billion needed this year to help more than 57 million people around the world.

“We need donors to give generously and urgently,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos told journalists following the Global Humanitarian Action for 2013 event in Brasilia, Brazil.

The high-level event was meant to strengthen support for global humanitarian appeals. UN agencies and their humanitarian partners need to fill a gap of $10.4 billion to help people in 24 of the world’s most pressing crises to cope with emergencies in 2013.

“In the last year alone, I visited more than 40 countries from Syria to Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Afghanistan and Myanmar, and saw and heard for myself the terrible conditions that families face and their harrowing stories – loss of loved ones and homes,” said Ms. Amos, who heads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Speaking about Haiti, Ms. Amos thanked the 15 donor countries in the region for “helping to save lives and strengthen humanitarian efforts” following the 2010 earthquake, which killed 200,000 people and left approximately two million people homeless and in need of aid.

In particular, Ms. Amos thanked Brazil for its steadily increased contributions to international humanitarian work over the past few years.

She also applauded the country’s support for regional disaster preparedness and partnerships, especially through the Dialogue on Humanitarian Partnership in New York, an aid policy forum co-chaired by Brazil.

Earlier in her visit, Ms. Amos met with Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, to discuss ways of strengthening the humanitarian partnership between the UN and Brazil.

“I stressed the importance of Brazil’s growing influence regionally and globally, and discussed how OCHA can help support and strengthen national humanitarian preparedness, coordination and response systems,” Ms. Amos told the press.

This is her second visit to Brazil since taking over the top UN humanitarian post in 2010.

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