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UN calls for leisure tax to fund humanitarian aid

UN calls for leisure tax to fund humanitarian aid

Countries should consider introducing a voluntary tax on leisure activities, a new United Nations (UN) study says.

Football matches or music concerts could have a levy that raises funds needed by the organisation for its humanitarian operations, the international body suggests.

Solidarity levy

The report suggests that a new “solidarity levy” could be introduced by countries to apply to specific goods or services.

The idea has already been trailed by Unitaid, a non-governmental organisation that arranged for ten countries to impose a small tax on airline tickets, which funded the fight against malaria and AIDS.

The cost of UN aid for war zones and natural disasters has gone up over the past 15 years, from $2bn in 2000 to $24.5bn in 2015.


European Commissioner for budget and human resources Kristalina Georgieva was chair of the panel that undertook the research.

"A micro-levy on a massive volume is possible," Georgieva said, suggesting that it could be applied to a range of transactions such as fuel, concerts, movies, sporting events, or even Uber taxi rides.

Georgieva added that there had already been talks with the FIFA football federation on how a possible contribution could be arranged.

The voluntary levy is one of three options put forward in the UN's report, which will be debated in May at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

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