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International community offers CAR $500 mn aid in 2014

International donors will provide $500 million in aid to the Central African Republic this year to help the impoverished country recover after months of sectarian bloodshed, a top EU official said Monday. Donor countries "are fully mobilising to attempt to put an end to a crisis... which has been ignored for so long," EU International Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said after a meeting under EU and UN auspices in Brussels. jri/jlb/bmm/mfp

EU, UN donors to meet Jan 20 on CAR 'tragedy'

The EU said Monday it will host a high-level meeting on the "appalling tragedy" in the Central African Republic, to be attended by the UN and donor countries on January 20. "The humanitarian tragedy in the Central African Republic continues to unravel in front of our eyes," said EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, who will chair the meeting with UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos. The major donors, led by former colonial ruler France, plus the African Union, the Red Cross and other aid groups will also attend, an EU official said.

EU hands 147 mln euros more to UN agencies to help Syrians

The European Union handed UN agencies 147 million euros for emergency aid to Syria on Wednesday, its biggest single donation so far to victims of the crisis. "The suffering of the Syrian people is a stain on the world's conscience," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso days after the UN launched an appeal for emergency humanitarian aid for Syrians. "We have a responsibility to act," he added.

Central African Republic needs many more peacekeepers: EU

By Joe Bavier ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Central African Republic needs up to four times more peacekeepers than are currently deployed to quell the worsening sectarian conflict and provide security for aid workers, the European Union's top humanitarian official said. The country has descended into chaos since the Seleka coalition of rebels, many of them from neighboring Chad and Sudan, ousted President Francois Bozize in March.

EU ups food aid to Myanmar after Kachin rebel spike

The EU said Saturday it is upping mainly food aid to Myanmar after clashes between state troops and ethnic Kachin rebels which trapped children in a remote area. The European Commission said it was earmarking three million euros ($4 million) on top of 45 million in humanitarian aid awarded over the past two years. Fighting in Kachin, near the northern border with China, erupted in June 2011 when a 17-year ceasefire crumbled. It has displaced some 100,000 people.

AFP Asia News Agenda

Duty Editor: Sarah Titterton Tel: +852 2829 6211 ASIA NEWS HIGHLIGHTS ON WEDNESDAY + Philippines typhoon relief effort builds PHILIPPINES -- An international relief effort builds to help survivors of a super typhoon feared to have killed more than 10,000 people, as survivors grow increasingly desperate (PHILIPPINES-WEATHER-TYPHOON) -- OTHER AGENDA ITEMS -- AUSTRALIA -- Cricket. England v New South Wales XI in Sydney (CRICKET-AUS-ENG-ASHES) BANGLADESH

Britain gives $160 million to Syria aid

Britain on Wednesday gave an extra $160 million to help Syrian refugees as the European Union urged the UN Security Council to do more to ensure humanitarian access. The cash boost was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the UN General Assembly and takes Britain's total aid to Syria relief operations to more than 500 million pounds ($800 million). The United Nations says more than two million Syrians have fled to surrounding countries and about six million are displaced inside the country which has been at war for two and a half years.

Syria's seizure of medical aid a war crime: EU aid chief

Syrian government forces have committed war crimes by seizing medical aid from convoys bound for rebel-held areas, European Union aid chief Kristalina Georgieva said Thursday. "There are cases where medical kits, surgical kits, are removed. What it means is that on the other side, a wounded man, woman or child could die," Georgieva told reporters.

EU gives 20 mn euros in aid to Mali

The EU announced Tuesday it was sending an additional 22 million euros ($29 million) in humanitarian aid to victims of the conflict in Mali. The European Commission said this brings its emergency assistance since the start of the crisis last year to 115 million euros. "Our top priority in Mali is to stabilise the very fragile food security situation which has been aggravated by the impact of the violence," EU Commissioner for International Cooperation Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.
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