“World has wealth” to help every single person in “dire straits” (Podcast)

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Workers unload trucks laden with hundreds of tents for families displaced by the recent fighting in Iraq. Photo: UNHCR/E. Colt

  The world has the wealth to help every single person in "dire straits" according to the UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-moon was speaking in New York at the annual pledging conference of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), a fund which supports the provision of rapid humanitarian aid across the world. Andita Listyarini has more details. The CERF was set up in 2005 to provide fast and predictable funding to people affected by conflicts and crises, no matter where they were. Over the last decade it has disbursed US$4.6 billion dollars to 98 countries, from its annual budget of US$450 million. But today, the humanitarian landscape in which the CERF operates is vastly different, with the scale of deprivation greater than at any time since the United Nations was founded. Speaking to donor countries at the UN, Ban Ki-moon said he hoped a newly agreed annual budget of US$1 billion, would be forthcoming. "A $1 billion dollar CERF means tens of millions more people will receive timely life-saving food, medicine, water, shelter and protection when and where they need it most. But, let us also recognize that a $1 billion dollar CERF is a bare minimum for the world we live in. And let us not succumb to so-called donor fatigue. The world has the wealth to come to the aid of every single person in dire straits." The UN says a record 130 million people around the world need humanitarian assistance to survive. Andita Listyarini, United Nations. Duration: 1’16″