Press Releases

         15 November 2004

    Secretary-General Seeks $1.7 Billion for ‘Forgotten Crises’

    NEW YORK, 11 November (OCHA) -- The United Nations Secretary-General has requested $1.7 billion to help people survive a web of forgotten humanitarian crises, mainly in Africa. "We are here today to sound an alarm on behalf of 26 million people struggling to survive the ravages of war and other emergencies", Kofi Annan told North American, European and Japanese donor Governments in New York today.

    "Responding to this appeal will enable countries to work together, help millions of people in need, and make a vitally important investment in our common future", said Kofi Annan. The United Nations Secretary-General has taken the unprecedented step of writing to donor aid ministers asking them to meet the requirements and state their funding intentions by mid-January 2005.

    "Twenty-six million people in war-affected regions need aid to stay alive, and large numbers of them hope for improved conditions in the year ahead", said Jan Egeland, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. "Hopes for recovery are growing in places like Burundi, the Central African Republic and Somalia, hanging in the balance in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Côte d’Ivoire, and have diminished in the occupied Palestinian territory."

    "Through this Humanitarian Appeal, 104 relief agencies together propose principled and effective action to save lives and reduce suffering", said Mr. Egeland. "This Humanitarian Appeal for 14 emergencies is based on rigorous needs assessments, prioritization and coordination. Average requirements per appeal are 15 per cent lower this year.”

    "Humanitarian donor nations must work together to make sure that populations in need are not ‘forgotten’", said Mr. Egeland, adding that donors can get more for their money by contributing it early. "The previous Humanitarian Appeal received only 52 per cent of the funding required and just 12 per cent of it within four months. The overall shortfall also reflects a downturn in global humanitarian funding of 50 per cent compared to 2003 and of 18 per cent compared to 2002, when contributions to Iraq and Afghanistan peaked.

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    Media contacts/interviews with Jan Egeland, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs: Andrew Lawday: tel.: +1 (917) 367-4027, mobile: +41 (0)79 444 37 15, e-mail: or Stephanie Bunker: tel.: +1 (917) 367-5126, mobile: +1 (917) 892-1679, e-mail:

    Notes to the Editor

    The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the United Nations body in charge of coordinating humanitarian responses to complex emergencies and natural disasters. The OCHA was created in 1998.

    The Humanitarian Appeal 2005, compiled by OCHA, is composed of 14 Consolidated Appeals developed through the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) in Burundi, Central African Republic, Chechnya (Russian Federation), Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Great Lakes, Guinea, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Uganda, and West Africa. Each appeal comprises sectors such as food, health, shelter, protection, mine action, water and sanitation.

    The Appeal does not cover all emergencies. Emergencies in the Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Colombia for example rely on other humanitarian response and appeal mechanisms. The Humanitarian Appeal, however, covers many of the world’s major emergencies and therefore reflects global humanitarian needs.

    The Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) is a yearly emergency response programme cycle used by agencies working with relevant authorities at field level, coordinated by the United Nations, and supported by donors, to give people in need the best available protection and assistance when they need it most. The process was created in 1991 to help coordinate humanitarian aid.

    A Consolidated Appeal (CA) is a fundraising document prepared by agencies working together at field level under a humanitarian coordinator to outline yearly financing requirements for implementing a Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP). A CHAP is a strategic plan developed by agencies working together at field level, aimed at assessing needs in an emergency and responding in a prioritized and coordinated manner.

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