Under-Secretaty-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos Humanitarian Appeal 2012 Press Briefing, Geneva,14 December 2011

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 14 Dec 2011

Tens of millions of people will need emergency aid to survive in 2012 and many are among the most vulnerable people in the world.

Commissioner Georgieva and I just finished briefing Member States on the countries which will require major attention in 2012. We aim to meet the needs of 51 million people across 16 countries: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Haiti, Kenya, Niger, the occupied Palestinian territory, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

The total requirements for 2012 are 7.7 billion US dollars. This is only slightly larger than the latest revised total of the appeals for the same countries in 2011 (14 million dollars more, to be exact). Overall, there is a downward trend in funding requests per appeal for next year. Nine of the sixteen appeals now published for 2012 have lesser requirements than the appeals for the same countries in 2011. Two others - Niger and Kenya – have increases of less than 10%. Those with significant increases are Somalia, Yemen, Djibouti, the Republic of South Sudan, and the Mindanao situation in the Philippines. Somalia requires 500 million dollars more for 2012 than for 2011. Without Somalia, the projected global humanitarian funding requirements for 2012 would be going down by half a billion dollars.

I would like to touch on the requirements in a few of the countries. The Appeal document runs through each country in detail.

The crisis in the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia) remains the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Four million people need urgent humanitarian aid in Somalia alone, and close to 600,000 refugees have sought protection in Kenya. Humanitarian action has already had a significant impact in many regions of Somalia: but mass vaccination campaigns have reduced the cases of measles by almost 50%, more than 2.5 million people are receiving regular food aid, 1.2 million people are accessing clean water, and emergency nutritional treatment has reached 242,000 acutely malnourished children. Three areas of Somalia have moved from being “famine” areas to “emergency”. However the situation remains fragile, and aid organizations will only be able to sustain these improvements if the current level of assistance is maintained.

The 2.4 billion dollars requested in 2011 for these four countries in the region has been 78% funded. This generosity on the part of the donors has enabled tens of thousands of lives to be saved over the past four months. Total requirements for the Horn of Africa will be 20% higher in 2012 than for 2011.

Afghanistan continues to suffer large-scale and severe humanitarian needs. A harsh drought in the centre and north over the past months has cast over a million people into acute food insecurity. Despite the challenging security environment, agencies are finding ways to gain access and deliver aid. The Appeal targets 5.4 million people and seeks $437 million.

In Chad, there are serious concerns about the risk of a widespread food crisis, which threatens an estimated 1.6 million people already suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition. This is compounded by one of the worst outbreaks of cholera Chad has experienced in recent history, plus a resurgence of polio, measles and other diseases. To address these problems the country team is appealing for 455 million dollars for 2012.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo continues its path towards stabilisation. But a lot of the population remains extremely vulnerable, facing risk of attacks by armed groups, violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, impaired livelihoods and access to basic needs, and there are also, of course, land disputes which are another factor. Indicators remain alarming in the areas of health, food security, water-sanitation-and-hygiene, malnutrition and education. The country team has identified requirements amounting to some 718 million dollars.

In Haiti, the context has changed since the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. Challenges remain, but significant progress has been made in humanitarian action and the response to the cholera outbreak. While the appeal situates itself in a transition context, it focuses on critical humanitarian needs, identified by in-depth analyses conducted in some key sectors. 230 million dollars are needed for 2012.

In the Sahel region, it is already evident that 2012 will be a difficult year for many vulnerable households. Large scale food assistance will be required throughout the region next year and especially in Niger. The 2012 appeal for Niger targets 3.8 million people and requires 229 million dollars.

In the occupied Palestinian territory humanitarian needs have not fundamentally changed. 416 million dollars are needed to implement 149 relief projects next year.

In South Sudan violence has increased and caused displacement. Rising food insecurity, disease outbreaks and seasonal flooding continue to impact humanitarian conditions on the ground. The appeal seeks 763 million dollars to help 3.1 million people.

In Sudan humanitarian need is driven by conflict, displacement and vulnerability. Humanitarian action will support up to 4.2 million people to ensure food security, access to basic services, shelter and livelihoods opportunities.

Yemen is facing a complex emergency that includes widespread conflict-driven displacement and a slow-onset crisis in food security, malnutrition and disease outbreak. The 2012 Plan aims to assist nearly four million people across the country: this represents 44% of the total population in need.

As of today, funding for our consolidated and flash appeals this year is the same in proportion to requirements one year ago (59%), but is less in absolute terms (5.3 billion dollars, compared to 6.6 billion in November 2010). Unmet requirements this year stand at 3.6 billion dollars.

This is a time of pressure on aid budgets. I asked Member States in my briefing to make the extraordinary political effort necessary to raise the resources needed to help people. It is a significant challenge and we need to work together to rise and meet that challenge.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.