Holmes Reminds World of Non-Haiti Emergencies

Women residents walk around an IDP camp in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. DRC is one of the 14 countries whose emergencies are underfunded, according to the United Nations. Photo by: Marie Frechon / UN Photo

The international community “rightly focused” its attention on Haiti’s deadly earthquake, but it must not forget the other humanitarian and emergency crises elsewhere in the world, United Nations humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes said.

Holmes explained that only 36 percent of the USD10 billion requested in 2010 under 20 consolidated appeals have been funded. A third of the committed funds are for Haiti.

In addition, funding for appeals for emergencies in Yemen, Palestinian territories, Guatemala and West Africa are “barely reaching” 20 percent, he said. 

“At the same time, funding for some of the better-supported appeals is mainly composed of carry-over from 2009,” Holmes added.

The U.N. official said funding shortfalls are “jeopardizing the ability of humanitarian organizations to bed in the gains they have made in recent months and years and to ensure that recovery really does take root.”

Funding, however, is not the only response needed in these humanitarian and emergency situations, Holmes said. There is also the need to ensure that “enough space exists for humanitarian operations” in crisis and conflict-affected countries.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.