U.N. launches record $20.1 billion aid appeal for 2016

The United Nations headquarters building is pictured though a window with the UN logo in the foreground in the Manhattan borough of New York August 15, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations launched a record humanitarian appeal on Monday, asking for $20.1 billion to help 87 million people in 37 national and regional crises in 2016.

“The overall picture is bleak,” U.N. humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien told a news conference in Geneva.

“Of course it is a lot of money but if you compare with military expenditure or bailouts of the financial system it’s perfectly affordable,” said the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres.

Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Andrew Heavens