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UN to seek $1 billion in donations for Ukraine relief

A Ukrainian Army soldier inspects fragments of a downed aircraft in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Zamirovsky)
A Ukrainian Army soldier inspects fragments of a downed aircraft in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Zamirovsky)

The UN plans to seek over $1 billion in donations for humanitarian relief in Ukraine over the next three months, the world body’s humanitarian chief says.

Martin Griffiths says at a news briefing that the exact amount of the appeal is still being decided but will be “well north of $1 billion.”

The UN announced Thursday that it was immediately allocating $20 million to expand its humanitarian operations in Ukraine. Even before Russia’s attack this week, the world body estimated about 3 million people were in need of aid after years of fighting between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian government in the country’s east.

Now, “the scale of need in these very, very extraordinary circumstances is going to be of the highest,” Griffiths says.

The UN issues multiple appeals each year for international donors, mainly governments, to finance humanitarian efforts in trouble spots around the world. Last month, it requested more than $5 billion for Afghanistan, the largest-ever appeal tied to a single country.

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