This year’s United Nation ‘appeal’ document represents the largest call for funds to date – US$12.9 billion, an increase of US$4.4 billion on last year. This was largely due to the enormous needs in Syria, where US$6.5 billion is required to meet the needs of Syrians inside the country and of refugees in neighbouring countries. There are also marked increases in requirements for the Central African Republic (CAR), and for the Philippines following typhoon Haiyan.
There is also change in process this year, in order to ensure that humanitarian planning is based on needs assessment and follows a programme cycle logic. This year’s document, released on 16 December 2013, is therefore a shorter overview, outlining needs and strategies for most, but not all UN appeal countries. Significantly, following the example of Somalia last year, three more strategies – Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt), South Sudan and Yemen – have opted for multi-year planning – a new and necessary development in humanitarian response in protracted situations.