UN reports record humanitarian aid shortfall

Globe and Mail
Laura MacInnis
GENEVA — Reuters
Last updated on Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2009 11:31AM EDT

The United Nations on Tuesday revealed a record $4.8-billion funding gap for its 2009 aid projects as a result of strained foreign assistance, widespread economic trouble and a ten-fold increase in needs in Pakistan.

“This recession is driving up humanitarian needs,” UN Emergency Relief Co-ordinator John Holmes told a news briefing in Geneva, where he held meetings with donor nations who will soon set their 2010 aid budgets.

A financing report prepared for those sessions stressed that the United Nations has received less than half the $9.5-billion it sought for humanitarian work this year. Yet some 43 million people need assistance this year, up from 28 million in 2008.