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    Global Demand for Humanitarian Aid to Remain High in 2015: UN Official

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    The director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Geneva Rashid Khalikov stated that some 77.9 million people in 22 countries will require humanitarian assistance in 2015.

    GENEVA, December 24 (Sputnik) — The humanitarian situation worldwide remains pressing as the number of people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance almost doubled in 2014 and is expected to remain elevated in 2015, the director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Geneva told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    “Over the past year the number of those affected by various conflicts or natural catastrophes worldwide has reached a record level… Every year we ask donors to send us more and more money. Because as the needs of more and more people grow, our abilities to help them diminish,” Khalikov said.

    The UN official noted that a year ago humanitarian agencies were asking the international community to provide them with $12.9 billion to be spent on humanitarian aid for 52 million people. “According to our estimates, as of the end of November, 102 million people were in need of aid… And now we need not $12.9 billion but $17.9 billion to help people from 31 countries,” Rashid Khalikov said.

    Khalikov said that according to the United Nations, some 77.9 million people in 22 countries will require humanitarian assistance in 2015. The organization will try to aid at least 57 million of them at a cost of $16.4 billion, a figure that is likely to grow.

    One of the most dramatic jumps in the number of those in need of humanitarian assistance can be observed in Syria, where, according to the UN official, this figure increased 12-fold over the past four years, reaching 12.2 million. In Iraq the number of those in need of aid almost doubled in the last six months, reaching 5.2 million.

    For 2015, the United Nations has allocated $189.1 million to aid 900,000 people in Ukraine’s five eastern regions as the country considered to be among the 10 with the most grave humanitarian situations worldwide. According to Khalikov, international humanitarian efforts in southeast Ukraine will focus on repairing its water supply system and preventing outbreaks of diseases.

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