Funding in Syria; Damascus Appointment; Myanmar; DRC; OCHA in China

Funding in Syria: The UN has almost doubled its humanitarian appeal for Syria from $180 million to $347 million, given that 2.5 million people are now in need of assistance. The increase was announced at today’s Syria Humanitarian Forum in Geneva, which brought together over 350 participants from Member States, regional organizations, NGOs and UN agencies to mobilize the resources. The new plan includes 57 projects and covers all of Syria’s 14 governorates. UNHCR also announced that it is scaling up its emergency response for IDPs to $41.7 million, more than double the amount sought previously.

Damascus Appointment: Mr. Mokhtar Lamani of Canada has been appointed as Head of the Office of the UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative for Syria in Damascus. Mr. Lamani previously served as the OIC Representative to the UN and as the Representative and Special Envoy of the League of Arab States to Iraq between 2006 and 2007.

Myanmar: UNCHR announced today that they are “seriously concerned” over reports that China has sent back from its Yunan province groups of Myanmar nationals who sought safety there from violence in Myanmar’s Kachin state.  In a message released today, the agency notes that some 5,000 ethnic Kachins – many of them children – have returned since mid-August and are living in makeshift camps.

DRC: The SG sent a message to the mini-summit on the International Conference of the Great Lakes region which is taking place in Kampala, Uganda, asking them for their concerted efforts to resolve the situation in the DRC and to call an end to all external support of the M23 in the region.

OCHA in China: OCHA is monitoring developments after a series of earthquakes in China and stands ready to assist the Chinese Government, after at least 43 people have died and 150 people have been injured in those earthquakes in south-west China today.