The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is asking donor nations to ante up $7.7 billion for humanitarian aid in the next fiscal year, 2012.
Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos told reporters at a briefing Wednesday at the agency's Geneve headquarters that the funds would help 51 million people in 16 countries.
"Millions of people will be affected by emergencies caused or worsened by the impact of climate change, insecurity over food and water, economic and political crises, migration, urbanization and rapid population growth," Amos said. "These appeals are focused on ensuring help is provided in a timely and effective way."
The 2012 appeal is the largest launched since the creation of the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) in 1991. The nations that will benefit from the funds are Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d' Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Haiti, Kenya, Niger, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen and Zimbabwe. The Palestinian Authority is also listed as a beneficiary of the fund.
"Amid challenging economic conditions and pressure on donor budgets, a similar aid effort will be neede in most of the Horn of Africa and other crisis regions in 2012," warned Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union's Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. Georgieva, who joined Amos at the briefing, vowed that "Despite hardship at home, the EU will continue to play its part."
The consolidated appeal wraps up a process in which 466 aid organizations -- including U.N. agencies, NGOs and other international aid groups -- have met to plan a strategy to meet ongoing needs in a coordinated way.