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Guyana-born UN Official Seeks Billions in Caribbean Aid

“There is no let-up in humanitarian needs in the world,” the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, told reporters here after she and other senior UN and humanitarian aid officials launched the appeal.

“They are displaced from their homes, hungry, unprotected and vulnerable, living with the consequences of natural disasters and violent conflict,” she added. 

The funding call is made under the annual Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) that, since its launch by the UN General Assembly in 1991, has become a central tool used by the world body and other aid organizations to plan, coordinate, fund, implement and monitor their activities.

Amos said the appeal is directed at governments, private individuals and businesses, among others, as she called on them to “contribute to saving lives in 2013.”

She highlighted that 520 UN agencies, non-governmental and other aid organizations have come together to launch the call with the aim to “deliver aid in an effective and coordinated way.”

The Under-Secretary-General also noted how international responses both buttress and enhance local efforts, which she saluted, saying that communities, civil society organizations, businesses, local and national governments were the “first responders, and, throughout a protracted crisis, important providers of support and help.”

Amos said that last year’s CAP appeal for US$7.7 billion to help 51 million people in distress remained 40 per cent underfunded.

“This means that people in need in some parts of the world have not been able to get the help they would have had we got the money,” she said, adding that it was too early to tell how the global financial crisis might affect funding levels this year.

She stressed that a “unified response can save lives and help communities become more resilient.”

(Re-printed from Caribbean360)

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