ICRC asks for 1.2 billion dollars in aid funds for 2011

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The international Red Cross on Thursday asked for a record 1.2 billion francs (914 million euros, 1.2 billion dollars) to fund its humanitarian projects around the world amid increasingly complex emergencies.

"The size of our projected field budget is an indication of the complexity and diversity of the needs we are addressing in the emergency and early recovery phases," said Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

"Not only do we need to meet acute challenges, like shortages of food, water or medicine, but we also have to focus more on addressing the indirect effects of hostilities, by ensuring for example that people have access to health care and by making counselling available for rape victims," he added.

The ICRC has budgeted most for Afghanistan, saying it required 89 million francs to run its operations there, including "meeting the acute medical needs of countless war casualties and providing the aid required by vast numbers of people displaced within the country."

Iraq is the next biggest operation, with a budget of 85.8 million francs. Other major operations include Sudan which would require 82.8 million and Pakistan, which needs 82.4 million francs.

© 2010 AFP

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