Global population in humanitarian needs rises by 20 pct

GENEVA. July 22. KAZINFORM Some 62 million people around the world are in need of humanitarian assistance by mid 2012, up by 20 percent from 51 million in the beginning of the year, United Nations aid coordinating arm, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Friday, Xinhua reported.

According to the OCHA, food shortages and violent conflicts both gave rise to the growing humanitarian needs.

Famine in Sahel region has created the largest humanitarian disaster in the world, where more than 18 million people in nine countries are facing severe food shortages and malnutrition. Over a million children under five are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition and over 200,000 people have fled into neighboring countries.

In one of the most hard-hit country of the Sahel, Mali, conflicts between rebel Tuareg groups and government forces in the northern part of the country has further exacerbated the situation, forcing over 20,000 to flee their home.

Fighting in Syria also dispelled many from their homes. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), some 120,000 Syrian are now taking refugee in four neighboring countries. Another one million are believed to be internally displaced.

Other major humanitarian situations involve countries such as Yemen, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, and South Sudan.

According to the OCHA, humanitarian aid put up by some 560 humanitarian aid organizations across the world has reached at least 21 million people so far. The gap being left is enormous, it said.


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