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UN asks $20.1 Billion, Aiming to reach over 87 million people in need 

Storyline:National News

The United Nations is facing a funding gap, is asking for $20.1 billion dollars in 2016 to help 87 million people suffering around the globe. It’s the largest humanitarian appeal in U.N. history.

The United Nations agencies for health, refugees and humanitarian assistance — known as WHO, UNHCR and OCHA — and their partner organizations want to help some 87 million people in 37 countries including Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Iraq next year — the most vulnerable people among an estimated 125 million in need in total, officials said.The agencies said the funding being sought — $20.1 billion — is five times greater than just a decade ago. It’s the largest funding appeal since World War II, revealing the scope and scale of conflicts we’re seeing, and likely to see through next year.

U.N. agencies said suffering in the world has reached levels not seen in a generation, and the outlook is not encouraging. They said they are only half-funded in their 2015 appeals for $19.9 billion and face a total funding gap of $10.2 billion, which is also a record. The funds, mostly from governments, go to medical support, food, shelter, protection and other aid for vulnerable or displaced people.

“With conflicts lasting for years on end, the horrifically unacceptable begins to pass for the normal. The international community has a profound moral obligation to take care of these people,” Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization said.
Because of extended conflicts in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen — the main drivers of humanitarian aid — the U.N. said needs for 2016 will see more people fleeing crises, worsening the unprecedented refugee situation that we have already seen this year, as 60 million people have already having fled their homes.

U.N. agencies also warn that humanitarian needs will come not only from ongoing conflicts, but also as a result of impact from El Nino, which is devastating parts of Africa and South America, and causing droughts and food shortages.