The U.N. chief is asking nations to be as generous as possible to deliver $7.4 billion in emergency aid this year to 50 million people grappling with conflict and disaster in 28 nations.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told diplomats Tuesday at U.N. headquarters in Geneva that the aid is needed despite financial pressure on national budgets. He praised donors like the European Commission, the United States and Sweden that announced their intentions early so the U.N. could plan better.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says tens of millions of people will need emergency aid in 2011. It said that in a rare year of two mega-disasters — the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods — donors pledged a record $13 billion last year.