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UN official says global crises pose humanitarian challenges in 2014
Valerie Amos, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said on Friday in New York that an unprecedented number of people were beginning 2014 as internally displaced.
She said this is in addition to enormous humanitarian challenges already posed by refugees.
She said 2013 was a real test of the global humanitarian system, and there was no indication that 2014 would be any different.
Amos said UN and its partners two weeks ago, had launched its largest ever appeal fund of nearly 13 billion dollars to reach millions of people with life-saving aid in 2014.
The UN official also stressed that the world’s collective response capacity and resources were being stretched to the limit and more funds would be needed to address emerging needs.
She therefore urged sustained support for millions who have been driven from their homes by violence and bloodshed or uprooted by devastating natural disasters.
The UN official said that the past year was marked by the international community’s massive efforts to ease suffering in war-torn Syria and typhoon-hit Philippines.
Amos added that the year ahead had opened amid sectarian fighting in both Central African Republic and South Sudan.
Amos also said that in South Sudan, violence had driven about 194,000 people from their homes in a matter of weeks with more than 57,000 seeking protection at UN missions.
"However, some 107,000 people have been reached with assistance but my office aimed to reach over 600,000 people in the first three months on the year.''
She expressed concern about ongoing reports of gross violations of human rights and the lack of protection of civilians.
She said aid organisations needed access to affected communities to provide shelter, health care and clean water.
Amos noted that in Syria, more than 100,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in March 2011, with some 6.5 million people displaced and more than 2.3 million seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
On the Central African Republic, she said violence and unrest continued against the backdrop of abject poverty and the collapse of the state.
Amos said more than one of six residents became internally displaced, an equivalent of more than 800,000 people and a half-million hungry.
In Sudan, she said aid workers continued to face challenges accessing South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, with limited access also to Darfur whose crisis was now entering its 10th year.
She added that large-scale displacement was also a concern in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where 2.7 million people remained uprooted, 65 per cent of them in the Kivu provinces alone.
Amos said that in Somalia about 3.2 million people were in need of assistance with malnutrition rates topping some of the highest in the world.
While in Mali and eight other countries in the Sahel, around 16 million people are at risk of hunger due to fighting and rapid population growth.
Source - NAN
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