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Niger Famine Could Have Been Prevented

"The famine in Niger could have been prevented if the United Nations had a reserve fund to jump-start humanitarian aid, a senior UN official has said.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, known as OCHA, has a fund of $50,000 to quickly respond to emergencies, but only for loans, which must be repaid.Instead, it wants $500,000 for grants to rapidly launch emergency relief campaigns as soon as warning signs emerge, said Jan Egeland, head of OCHA." [Full Story]
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Clinton Backs Tsunami Aid Deal With S.Lanka Rebels

"Former U.S. president Bill Clinton said on Saturday he supported a tsunami aid-sharing deal between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels, saying it could lead to a lasting peace.Clinton, the U.N. envoy for tsunami relief, also told a news conference at the end of a one-day visit he had seen much progress in recovery efforts since his last trip in February." Full Story
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UN Launches Relief Operations in Horn of Africa

"UN agencies in the Horn of Africa have launched a major relief operation after days of torrential rains caused severe flooding in Ethiopia and Somalia and left more than 40 people dead, swept away entire villages and destroyed critical farmlands.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the relief agencies have been scrambling to get food and basic supplies to desperate families after crashing floodwaters from the cresting Wabe Shabelle River and driving rain had battered both Somalia and Ethiopia for the past two days." LINK
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Clinton: Tsunami Effort a Model for Handling Future Disasters

"Bill Clinton says the response to the Asian tsunami could serve as a model for future disasters if donors make sure the stricken region recovers. The former US president, who is now the United Nations envoy for tsunami relief, told a New York conference of senior American executives yesterday that the recovery stage was just beginning to diversify seafront economies and build houses." Full Story
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Business Roundtable to Work With UN on Disaster Response

"An unprecedented gathering of U.S. business leaders, United Nations officials and representatives of the world's leading nonprofit relief organizations will meet at the United Nations on April 25, 2005, to begin to outline ways to respond more effectively to global disasters and emergencies in the future." LINK
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Annan: Billions of Promises to Keep

New York Times Op-Ed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:"THIS is a make-or-break year for Sudan, Africa's biggest country. In Oslo this week, donor countries pledged $4.5 billion in aid to Sudan, but while I applaud the donors' generosity, promises alone are not enough.Time is running out for the people of Sudan. We need pledges immediately converted into cash and more protection forces in Darfur to prevent yet more death and suffering. If we fail in Sudan, the consequences of our actions will haunt us for years to come." Read the rest...
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After Annan’s Call, Donors Pledge $4.5 Billion for Sudan

UN News Service: "A two-day donors' conference to support the peace accord between the Government and rebels in southern Sudan has pledged $4.5 billion for 2005-2007, nearly $2 billion more than the amount United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan identified as needed to resurrect the ravaged region over the next two and a half years.Addressing the opening session yesterday in Oslo, Norway, Mr. Annan had appealed to participants to "pledge - and pledge generously," quipping when asked about the tendency of governments not to honour their pledges that "pledges are good, but cash is better."