GENEVA, Jan 27 – UNICEF on Friday launched an appeal for $1.28 billion (947 million euros) this year, with a third of the cash needed to help children in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa, the agency said.
The aid body said it was seeking nine percent less funds than in 2011, linked to lower funding needs in Pakistan and Haiti, but that its needs for fighting hunger had jumped by nearly 50 percent.
The East Africa and Southern Africa regions show the largest increase in funding needs, mainly to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa.
In 2012 UNICEF expects to help about 97 million people in 25 countries and territories, it said.
“The list of countries includes many long standing or so-called ‘silent’ emergencies, but the crisis in Somalia and in other countries in the Horn of Africa accounts for nearly one-third of the total amount,” a UNICEF report said.
The Horn of Africa countries are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
The second highest funding priority is for assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo, representing 11 percent of the total, while the amount sought for Sudan makes up eight percent, with Pakistan at seven percent.
“Although the distribution of funding required between the various sectors has been fairly constant over the last five years,” the needs for nutrition in 2012 are up 47 percent and “now represent 30 percent of all of these needs compared to 19 percent in 2011,” said the organisation.