Valerie Amos, UN humanitarian chief, said the number of people affected by conflicts and natural disasters around the world had reached unprecedented levels during 2014, prompting the UN to launch an appeal for $16.4bn in funding.
A year ago, the UN set out to assist 52 million people, but during 2014, the number of people in need has nearly doubled to a record 102 million.
More than 40 percent of the appeal $7.2bn would go to help 18.2 million people suffering from the war in Syria. The appeal also covers Central African Republic, Iraq, and South Sudan, the top humanitarian priorities, as well as Afghanistan, Congo, Myanmar, occupied Palestinian territories, Somalia, Ukraine and Yemen.
The 2015 request, on behalf of 455 aid organizations, does not include money to help feed millions facing hunger in Africa’s Sahel region, which has seen repeated droughts and conflicts.
Amos said aid in 2014 helped avert a famine in South Sudan, fed millions of Syrians each month, provided medical supplies to 1 million Iraqis and paid for food for 903,000 people in Central African Republic.
But with 80 percent of the needy living in conflict-ridden countries, the demands for aid are outstripping the ability to pay for them, Amos said.