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Over $17 bln required for humanitarian aid around the world — UN chief

September 18, 2014, 10:25 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
There are 108 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the world
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Over the past years, the United Nations has been dealing with many large and extremely serious humanitarian crises, one of them caused by the Ebola outbreak

Over the past years, the United Nations has been dealing with many large and extremely serious humanitarian crises, one of them caused by the Ebola outbreak

© AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh

UNITED NATIONS, September 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Humanitarian assistance on a global scale requires more than $17 billion to meet the needs of some 108 million people, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass on Thursday.

"Globally, there are 108 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and humanitarian organizations require some 17.1 billion to meet their needs," the UN chief said.

Over the past years, the United Nations has been dealing with many large and extremely serious humanitarian crises “with massive displacement of population,” he said.

"Last year, more than 150 aid workers were killed - the highest number since we began keeping records, and more humanitarian workers were kidnapped or seriously injured than ever before, which is an outrage," Ban said.

Ebola outbreak causes unprecedented health crisis 

The UN chief also stressed the need to support the UN response plan to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. According to the World Health Organization, the deadly virus has already killed nearly 2,500, with up to 5,000 infected.

"We are facing an unprecedented health crisis with serious humanitarian and security implications that calls for the support of all countries, in funds, goods, personnel and expertise," Ban told Itar-Tass.

Analysts say the Ebola epidemic is emerging as a global threat which requires all-round attention. The outbreak started in West Africa in December 2013 and by now Ebola has spread across five countries, namely Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal.

The Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) was first reported in 1976 in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and took its name from the river, in the northern Congo basin of central Africa, near which the first outbreak occurred.

It is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%.The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care.

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