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Live: UN launches ‘biggest humanitarian programme’ ever for Ukraine, climate

Issued on: 01/12/2022 – 07:03

The United Nations flag files overhead during a general meeting of the organisation held on 22 September, 2022. © Ted Shaffrey, AP

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The United Nations and partners on Thursday launched an appeal for a record $51.5 billion in aid money for 2023 with tens of millions of additional people expected to need humanitarian assistance, including those in Ukraine and displaced by the Russian invasion. Follow our blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).


9:32am: Russia’s Lavrov says West missed a chance to avoid Ukraine conflict

Russian Foreign Minister said on Thursday that the West had a real chance to avoid conflict in Ukraine, but had chosen to spurn Russian proposals to halt the expansion of and agree a special security status for Kyiv.

Lavrov made the comments during a news conference in Moscow.

The West says Russia’s proposals made in the run-up to the Ukraine war were unrealistic and insincere.

8:34am: Intense fighting in Bakhmut is ‘hell’, Ukrainian soldiers say

Intense fighting which started five months ago is ongoing in the east Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the third largest Ukrainian-controlled city in Donestk.

“Whenever I speak to soldiers who have been fighting around Bakhmut they all use the same expression: it’s hell,” says FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg, reporting from Kyiv.

Yet experts are unsure as to why is investing so much into capturing the city, which seems to have little strategic interest. Despite a “huge and bloody effort”, Cragg says, “even if [Russia] ultimately succeed, it doesn’t mean that it will change the course of the war”.


6:03am: UN launches record humanitarian funding appeal for Ukraine, climate

The appealed for record funds for aid next year, as the war and other conflicts, climate emergencies and the still-simmering pandemic push more people into crisis, and some towards famine.

The United Nations’ annual Global Humanitarian Overview estimated that 339 million people worldwide will need some form of emergency assistance next year – a staggering 65 million more people than the estimate a year ago.

The annual appeal by UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations said that providing aid to the 230 million most vulnerable people across 68 countries would require a record $51.5 billion.

Climate events, food insecurity, forced displacement and conflict have taken a dire toll on a range of countries, not least on Ukraine, where Russia’s full-scale invasion in February has left millions in dire need.

“Next year is going to be the biggest humanitarian programme” the world has ever seen, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told reporters in Geneva.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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