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Yearbook of the United Nations 2014

image of Yearbook of the United Nations 2014

With its comprehensive coverage of political and security matters, human rights issues, economic and social questions, legal issues, and administrative and budgetary matters, the Yearbook of the United Nations stands as the authoritative reference work on the annual activities and concerns of the Organization. Fully indexed, the Yearbook includes all major General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council resolutions and decisions, uniquely placing them in a narrative context of United Nations consideration, deliberation and action. This sixty-eighth volume presents the work of the United Nations in dealing with recurring conflicts with severe humanitarian consequences including in the Syrian Arab Republic, where more than 12 million people were in need of basic food, clothing and shelter. The volume also highlights the Organization’s rapid response to an escalatory global health emergency—the Ebola virus disease outbreak across West Africa. It documents the Organization’s coordination of policy discussions to finalize a global sustainable development agenda, with the security of future generations as the core concern; and its efforts to rebuild societies emerging from conflict while keeping the fragile peace in other places. It further details the entry into force of the landmark Arms Trade Treaty, the missile downing of a passenger airliner in the midst of a geopolitical crisis in eastern Ukraine, and securing international human rights and humanitarian law and prosecuting abusers.

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Humanitarian and special economic assistance

In 2014, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (ocha) responded to humanitarian challenges due to natural disasters and conflicts. Crises in the Central African Republic, Iraq, the Philippines, South Sudan and Syria were classified as level-three emergencies requiring immediate scale-up. Besides the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa where ocha assisted with coordination in health, food security and sanitation and protection, elsewhere in the world ocha assisted at least 52 million people with material assistance worth $12.9 billion. At year’s end, however, the number of people in need increased to 76 million and the requirement went up to $18.05 billion. Despite donors providing record levels of funding, by December, the United Nations and its humanitarian partners had received 61 per cent or $11 billion in funding. During the year, the number of people displaced internally or fleeing as refugees exceeded 50 million—the highest since 1945.

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