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Syria Crisis Contributes to UN Plea for $12.9 Billion Aid

A family stands outside their make shift home, after their house was allegedly destroyed in fighting between rebels and pro-governemt forces, in the Syrian city of Aleppo, on Dec. 13, 2013. Photographer: Mohammed Al-Khatieb/AFP via Getty Images
A family stands outside their make shift home, after their house was allegedly destroyed in fighting between rebels and pro-governemt forces, in the Syrian city of Aleppo, on Dec. 13, 2013. Photographer: Mohammed Al-Khatieb/AFP via Getty Images

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- United Nations agencies will need a record $12.9 billion next year to provide humanitarian assistance to at least 52 million people amid crises including the war in Syria, the world body’s humanitarian chief said.

More than half of the requested amount would go toward relieving the deepening emergency in Syria, where more than 2.3 million people have fled since a civil war broke out in March 2011, Valerie Amos, UN under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said today in an e-mailed statement.

“This is the largest amount we have ever had to request at the start of the year,” Amos said. She said that “$6.5 billion of this will support our efforts in Syria and in neighboring countries, and again, this is the largest-ever appeal for a single crisis.”

The UN also plans to use the funds to finance reconstruction efforts in the storm-ravaged Philippines, refugee assistance in the Central African Republic and food and health care for “protracted crises” in Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Haiti, she said.

This year, the UN appealed for $8 billion, and 60 percent of the request has been met, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sangwon Yoon in United Nations at syoon32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

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