Humanitarian crises outstripping donor funding

The director of U.N. humanitarian operations says crises driven by drought, floods and conflicts are escalating every year and there isn't enough money to help more than 50 million people from Syria to Africa's parched Sahel region that need help.

John Ging said that for thousands of needy people the result is more suffering, worsening malnutrition and loss of life.

"The needs are outstripping the means," he said in a year-end interview late last week. "There's a global financial crisis and this is just an equation that doesn't work. We have to find solutions."

The U.N. has launched its biggest-ever appeal - for $8.5 billion to help 51 million people in 16 countries in 2013.

In addition, it has launched a separate appeal for $1.5 billion for Syria.