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UN rights office makes 'ambitious' appeal for donors

GENEVA — The United Nations human rights office is seeking nearly $253 million this year from states and private donors in what it called its "most ambitious" appeal yet.

The Geneva-based office says the funding would help pay for its work combatting torture and slavery and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples.

The money would supplement about $108 million the office receives from the regular United Nations budget.

Wednesday's appeal comes amid uncertainty about future U.S. funding for the United Nations under President Donald Trump. The United States is regularly among the top donors for the rights office.

In a statement announcing the drive, U.N. rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein cited a "period of profound uncertainty" when "xenophobia and calls for racial and religious discrimination have entered mainstream discourse" in many countries.

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