The United Nations and other humanitarian groups say they need almost $13 billion to help people in 17 crisis-affected countries, and that half of that amount is needed for Syria and its surrounding region alone.

The United Nations agencies that provide aid, food and help for refugees say they requirements for 2014 “are formidable, but attainable.”

U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos says the aim is to reach 52 million people.

But the agencies’ request for $13.6 billion last year upwardly revised last summer from $8.5 billion a year ago, mainly because of Syria’s civil war was only 60 percent funded.

The appeal Monday is made as part of a worldwide assessment involving hundreds of aid organisations.

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