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U.N. appeals for record $22.2B humanitarian funding in 2017

By Andrew V. Pestano
U.N. appeals for record $22.2B humanitarian funding in 2017
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has launched the highest-ever consolidated humanitarian appeal by requesting $22.2 billion in funding for 2017. In this image, a young man in Syria receives medical treatment at a field hospital in July following airstrikes in Douma, a city near Damascus. File Photo by Mohammed Badra/European Pressphoto Agency

NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The United Nations on Monday appealed for $22.2 billion in funding to cover humanitarian relief projects to aid 93 million people and 33 countries in 2017.

"The world is facing a state of humanitarian crisis not seen since the Second World War: more than 128 million people are affected by conflict, displacement, natural disasters and profound vulnerability," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said in a statement released along with its annual report.

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OCHA said the $22.2 billion in funding that will "deliver urgent relief, protection and support" to the "most vulnerable and marginalized people" is the highest consolidated humanitarian appeal ever.

The conflicts in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Nigeria have strained the resources of the agency -- leading it to appeal for an unprecedented amount. Extreme weather, droughts and floods caused by the El Niño weather pattern have also pushed "vulnerable communities to the brink of survival," OCHA said.

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"The humanitarian appeal is the culmination of a global effort to assess needs and decide collective response strategies by hundreds of organizations delivering food, shelter, healthcare, protection, emergency education and other basic assistance to people in conflict- and disaster-affected regions," OCHA said in a statement.

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So far in 2016, OCHA has received $11.4 billion from international donors out of an appeal of $20.1 billion.

"The lives of millions of women, girls, boys and men are in our hands," Stephen O'Brien, the U.N. humanitarian chief and relief coordinator, said in a statement.. "By responding generously and delivering fully on this appeal we will prove to them that we will not let them down."

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