Top of the Morning: UN Issues 2012 Disaster Relief Appeal; Syria Stalled at the Security Council

Top Stories from the Development and Aid Workers News Service — DAWNS Digest.

UN Asks for $7.7 billion for Disaster Relief in 2012

OCHA released its 2012 consolidated appeals today. The humanitarian coordinating agency is asking donors for $7.7 billion to help 51 million people in 16 countries next year. But will they pony up? “The 2011 appeal is significantly lower than the $8.9 billion that the global body requested for the current year. But requests to U.N. donors are revised throughout the year to respond to unforeseen disasters, which this year included floods in Pakistan, the civil war in Libya, and the ongoing conflict in Yemen. [OCHA Director Valerie Amos] said the biggest amount in next year’s appeal — about $1.5 billion — will be devoted to Somalia. This is followed by $1.1 billion for Sudan and $764 million for Kenya.” (WaPo

Will *Anything* Convince Russia to Back Syria Sanctions?

The Arab League has imposed sanctions on Syria. Turkey has imposed sanctions. The Human Rights Council has condemned the regime as has the General Assembly. Syria’s only remaining international backer at this point is Russia, which seems as intent as ever to stalling action at the Security Council. “The wrangling at the UN took place as thousands of Syrians closed businesses and boycotted schools in protest against the government crackdown. But neither internal events in Syria nor actions by regional actors like the Arab League appear to be swaying Russia. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that international condemnation of Assad would be ‘immoral’ when the regime is facing the violence of ‘armed extremist groups.’ Mr. Lavrov said last month that Syria was in a civil war, and that it was not the international community’s place to side against the government. But that has not stopped Russia from showing support for Assad, for example by recently sending warships to fly the Russian flag in Syrian ports.” (CS Monitor