UN Makes Record Appeal for Humanitarian Aid in 2018

Syrian refugee children learn to survive at a camp in north Lebanon. Credit: Zak Brophy/IPS.

Syrian refugee children learn to survive at a camp in north Lebanon. Credit: Zak Brophy/IPS

By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
UNITED NATIONS, Dec 2 2017 (IPS)

The UN has made its largest appeal to work towards reaching the more than 135 million people across the world in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

Upon comprehensively assessing world humanitarian needs, the UN found that the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased by more than 5 percent.

As a result, the institution has launched its strategic humanitarian response plans which aim to reach 91 million of the most vulnerable with food, shelter, health care, and education in 2018.

The ambitious plan will require a record 22.5 billion dollars, slightly higher than the 22.2 billion appeal made in 2017.

“Investing in coordinated response plans is a sound choice. It delivers tangible and measurable results, and has a proven track record of success,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock.

In 2017, donors provided a record level of funding of 13 billion dollars to help humanitarian agencies reach and save tens of millions of people, including those who experienced unprecedented famines in four different countries.

However, 46 percent of the 22.2-billion-dollar appeal remains unfunded.

“Humanitarians can only respond to the growing needs with the generous support of our donors,” said Lowcock during a press conference.

CEO of Save the Children Helle Thorning-Schmidt echoed similar sentiments, noting the need for NGOs to use funding more effectively, as well as donor governments to invest in long-term development.

“[We] need governments and institutions to take a longer term approach by tackling the cause of these crises as well as the symptoms. By brokering peace agreements, investing in education, helping communities build resilience to climate shocks, and speaking up when people are persecuted. Without this, we will continue to see a record level of suffering,” she said.

“There are very few humanitarian crises that can be solved by humanitarian interventions alone,” Lowcock reiterated.

The crisis in Yemen continues to be the most urgent and will require a scaled up response in 2018.

Over 22 million Yemenis, representing over 70 percent of the population, require humanitarian assistance. This includes the 7 million who are on the brink of famine, which has only exacerbated since the Saudi-led coalition imposed a blockade.

Though the blockade has been partially lifted, Lowcock urged for a complete reversal in order to avoid an even bigger catastrophe.

Humanitarian needs will also continue to be high in Syria in 2018 unless a political solution is reached.

As hostilities are ongoing, access to those with the most need still remains constrained, particularly to the over 900,000 in UN-declared besieged areas and almost 3 million living in hard-to-reach areas.

The proportion of the population living in extreme poverty in the Middle Eastern nation has doubled from almost 34 percent before the conflict to almost 70 percent today. Limited access to income and livelihood opportunities has doubled the number of people at risk of food insecurity.

Lowcock pointed to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo as among the most neglected, with only 40 percent of its appeal funded.

The increase in violence, which is expected to worsen, forced almost 2 million people to flee their homes in 2017, bringing to the total number of internally displaced persons to over 4 million—the highest number of any country on the African continent.

As the majority of the world’s humanitarian crises are driven by conflict, Thorning-Schmidt urged for action to help protect the most vulnerable, including children.

“If we don’t do anything extraordinary, we will end up stealing these children’s futures twice,” she said. “We have to put even more pressure on the global community and on warring parties to make peace.”

Primero Extends Revolving Credit Facility to December 15, 2017

TORONTO, ON—(Marketwired – December 01, 2017) – Primero Mining Corp. (“Primero” or the “Company”) (TSX: P) today announced that the Company has agreed with its lenders to an extension of its revolving credit facility (“RCF”) and guarantee provided by Wheaton Precious Metals Corp., previously maturing on December 1, 2017. The maturity of the RCF has been extended to December 15, 2017, providing the Company with the ability to continue negotiations surrounding its previously announced strategic review process and the possible divestiture of its San Dimas mine in Mexico. There can be no certainty that these discussions will result in a resolution acceptable to all stakeholders.

About Primero

Primero Mining Corp. is a Canadian–based precious metals producer that owns 100% of the San Dimas gold–silver mine in Mexico.

Primero's website is www.primeromining.com.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT ON FORWARD–LOOKING INFORMATION

This news release contains “forward–looking statements”, within the meaning of applicable United States and Canadian securities legislation, concerning the business and operations of Primero Mining Corp. and its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively, “Primero” or the “Company”). All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements in this news release include statements regarding the expected extension of the Company's revolving credit facility, the Company's ability to continue negotiations surrounding its previously announced strategic review process and the possible divestiture of its San Dimas mine. The assumptions made by the Company in preparing the forward–looking information contained in this news release, which may prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to: the expectations and beliefs of management; the specific assumptions set forth above in this news release; that negotiations will continue regarding the Company's strategic review process, or that negotiations will result in any resolution acceptable to all Primero stakeholders.

Forward–looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Primero to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward–looking statements, including: the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and the United States dollar may change; the Company may not be able draw down, re–finance or extend its line of credit facility; the documentation to extend the credit facility may not be timely completed; negotiations in connection with the strategic process may be interrupted or may break down and may not result in a resolution that is acceptable to all Primero stakeholders. Certain of these factors are discussed in greater detail in Primero's registration statement on Form 40–F on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and its most recent Annual Information Form on file with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities and available at www.sedar.com. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward–looking statements. In addition, although Primero has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward–looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward–looking statements.

Forward–looking statements are made as of the date hereof and accordingly are subject to change after such date. Forward–looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management's current expectations and plans and allowing investors and others to get a better understanding of our operating environment. Primero does not undertake to update any forward–looking statements that are included in this document, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

Attachment Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/12/2/11G148410/PR27–17_RCF_Extension_2_Final–800e9e2be82e8578ac1a191dec09f75b.pdf