Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Human Rights: UN seeks $1 billion for humanitarian aid

The United Nations refugee agency today sought $1.06 billion, a slight decrease over this year's initial global appeal, to assist some 21 million people around the world in 2007, but it expects to issue a number of supplementary appeals during the year, including for Iraq and south Sudan.

"A billion dollars sounds like a lot of money but it is equivalent to just a dollar a week for each of the 21 million people we help," UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres said in remarks prepared for the agency's annual pledging conference in Geneva.

"When you consider the huge needs of those fleeing the horrors of Darfur, Iraq and Somalia and those in protracted refugee situations like Thailand and Pakistan, it is really not a large sum of money," he added.

The largest programmes for 2007 are Chad ($69 million), Afghanistan ($52 million), Liberia ($32 million), Kenya ($32 million) and Tanzania ($24.3 million).