UNICEF appeals for $1.4 bn in 2011 aid funds

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The UN children's fund launched an appeal Monday for $1.4 billion (1 billion euros) in financing for children and women who have fallen victim to natural catastrophes or conflict.

The appeal, which is about a fifth more than the 2010 appeal, will cover the needs of 32 countries, said the agency in a statement.

"Funds to meet these needs are critical to allowing us to respond in emergency situations, and also to breaking repeated cycles of crisis," said Antony Lake, UNICEF executive director in the foreword of the agency's annual report.

Funding requirements for Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean have increased sharply from a year ago, due to the floods in Pakistan and the earthquake and cholera outbreak in Haiti.

"Of the funding for Asia, 80 percent is needed for assistance to Pakistani children and women affected by flooding and conflict," said the agency.

Pakistan's needs topped the list, with $296 million required.

Some $162.5 million is required for Sudan, while $157 million is needed for Haiti.

© 2011 AFP

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