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UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs concludes mission to Egypt

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(Cairo/New York, 12 January 2010): Catherine Bragg, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, today concluded the first leg of her four-day Middle East mission to Egypt and Syria.

In Cairo, Ms. Bragg expressed gratitude for the Government's hosting of OCHA's Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (ROMENACA), which recently relocated from Dubai. The office covers a region with multiple ongoing humanitarian emergencies, which is hosting ten million refugees and more than three million internally displaced persons. Cairo is a regional hub for many UN organizations and non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations.

The Assistant Secretary-General also met today with the Egypt Red Crescent Society, which continues to play a crucial role in the delivery of humanitarian relief, including to the Gaza strip.

On 11 January, Ms. Bragg met representatives of the League of Arab States, which is based in Cairo, and commended the League's increasingly important role in facilitating humanitarian aid and advocating improved coordination among its member states and with the wider international humanitarian system.

"I further encourage the League of Arab States to take a proactive role in promoting international humanitarian coordination and funding for the various humanitarian appeals and response plans in the region," Ms. Bragg said. These appeals, which help raise funds for emergencies, include Afghanistan (US$ 871 million), the occupied Palestinian territory ($664 million) and Yemen ($177 million). In addition, there is the Syria Drought Response Plan ($48 million) and the Iraq Humanitarian Action Plan ($193 million).

Ms. Bragg will continue her mission in Damascus, Syria, on 13 and 14 January.

For further information, please call: Jens Laerke, OCHA-Cairo +20 2 2751 5016-17, mobile +20 19 555 8662, laerke@un.org; OCHA-New York: Stephanie Bunker, +1 917 367 5126, mobile + 1347 244 2106, bunker@un.org; Nicholas Reader +1 212 963 4961, mobile +1 646 752 3117, reader@un.org; John Nyaga,+ 1 917 367 9262, mobile +1 917 318 8917, nyagaj@un.org; OCHA-Geneva: Elisabeth Byrs,+41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570, byrs@un.org.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.