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Foreword: A year of challenges
It is my pleasure to present to you the 2008 Annual Report for the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
For the millions of people affected by natural disasters and conflict worldwide, 2008 was a year of enormous challenges. More than 211 million people were affected by natural disasters, with more than 238,000 killed and US$200 billion in damages, making 2008 one of the most devastating years in terms of human and material losses.
1. A significant increase in the numbers of persons of concern to UNHCR brought new challenges in 2006. While there was a 14 per cent increase in refugee numbers from the previous year, the Office's involvement, together with other humanitarian partners, in protecting and assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) under the inter-agency cluster approach, resulted in a doubling of IDP figures. Thanks to better data capturing, many more stateless people have been identified, also swelling numbers.
CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION
Mr Poul Nielson
European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
The World Food Programme wishes to thank donors for their continued generosity. This year donors have contributed over US $ 1.3 billion, and WFP has used these resources to mobilise over 3.1 million tons of food aid distributed to needy people.