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Secretary-General seeks $7 billion to aid 30 million people in 2009

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(Geneva: 19 November 2008): United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for $7 billion to provide urgent humanitarian aid to 30 million people in 31 countries worldwide.

"Our aim is to help these most vulnerable people survive the coming year, and enable them to start working their way out of vulnerability and despair towards the dignity, safety and self-sufficiency to which every human being has a right," the Secretary-General said in the foreword to the Appeal.

The Humanitarian Appeal 2009 is the biggest Appeal ever launched since the creation of the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) in 1991. It comprises twelve consolidated appeals for the Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq and region, Kenya, the occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda, the West African region, and Zimbabwe.

The Appeal marks the culmination of a vast undertaking in which 360 aid organizations including United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and other international organizations have united to meet the world's major humanitarian challenges in a strategic, coordinated, effective, and prioritized way.

"Millions of people continue to struggle with long-running conflicts, natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and high food prices. The 2009 Appeal offers concrete help to these people in distress," said John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. "The seven billion dollars that we seek equates to, for every 100 dollars of national income in the rich countries, only a few cents of aid," he added.

"In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), around 250,000 people are believed to have been displaced in the last two months and the situation is becoming increasingly desperate, said Hilde Frafjord Johnson, Deputy-Executive Director of UNICEF. "Women and children are caught in the middle and most vulnerable to every sort of abuse. We must ensure their protection in the continuing fighting," she noted.

John Holmes presided over the launch of the Humanitarian Appeal 2009 this afternoon The Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund, Hilde Frafjord Johnson, the Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Elisabeth Rasmusson, and Aeneas Chuma, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Kenya, also participated.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679, bunker@un.org; Nicholas Reader +1 212 963 4961, mobile +1 646 752 3117, reader@un.org, John Nyaga, OCHA-NY, + 1 917 367 9262, nyagaj@un.org; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570, byrs@un.org. OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int.

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