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UN Seeks $7.4 Billion For Urgent World Aid In 2011

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GENEVA — The United Nations is asking governments and private donors for a record $7.4 billion next year to provide 50 million people worldwide with food, clothing and other urgent humanitarian aid.

The request came with the formal launch of the fundraising drive Tuesday.

It's the biggest such request since the U.N. began its "consolidated" humanitarian appeals in 1991.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it contains "action plans for 14 of the world's most severe crises" to be carried out by most major non-governmental humanitarian organizations and U.N. agencies.

The five biggest amounts sought under the plan are $1.7 billion for Sudan, $1 billion for Pakistan, $907 million for Haiti, $719 million for Congo and $679 million for Afghanistan.