France said Wednesday it would keep its contributions for UN humanitarian relief agencies in 2015 at the level of Euros 89 million, unchanged from amount granted in 2014, and Paris did not at this time foresee an increase in aid in response to pressing demands from UN.
Asked by KUNA if the French government would respond positively to a UN interagency call for USD 16.4 billion in new aid for Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Iraq and Central African Republic and other countries, officials in Paris said aid levels would not increase next year.
"France will continue to finance in 2015, like it did in 2014, at the level of Euros 89 million for the action of United Nations humanitarian agencies, in particular the World Food Programme and the High Commission for Refugees," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
The UN's leading human rights and emergency relief official, Valerie Amos, on Tuesday gave a stark picture of the shortfalls in aid and the burgeoning need mainly in the above countries, which are wracked by internal conflict and a huge refugee problem.
"The needs are indeed very great," spokesman Romain Nadal said, and he indicated that the requirements concerned 22 countries, "notably, Syria, South Sudan, Iraq, Sudan and the Central African Republic." Nadal also pointed out that France contributed to UN humanitarian agencies and relief through the European Union, which contributed Euros 516 million in 2013 for this cause. France normally pays a share of about 18 percent of the EU contributions to UN bodies.
Earlier this month, food agencies delivering to Syrian refugees said that they had run out of funds and would soon have to stop distribution.