As the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance around the world reach record levels, United Nations and relief partners have revised their global aid appeal to $23.5 billion – up nearly 6 per cent from the original $22.2 billion announced late last year.
According to a news release issued by the UN Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), new natural and man-made disasters as well as deteriorating protracted emergencies have resulted in an additional 8 million people around the world needing assistance.
Since its launch on 5 December 2017, donors have provided about $6.2 billion for the 2017 global appeal. However, with more than half of the year still remaining and needs rising, more is needed.
“With generous donor support, humanitarian partners have swiftly scaled up to deliver record levels of life-saving assistance in challenging and often dangerous environments,” Stephen O’Brien, the UN Emergency Relief Coordination and head of OCHA, said on the first day of the annual Economic and Social Council Humanitarian Affairs Segment in Geneva.
“[But] we are in a race against time. People’s lives and well-being depend on increasing our collective support,” he added.
Some of the crises that pushed up the requirements include the rapid escalation of violence in Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as a drought in Kenya, tropical cyclones in Madagascar and Mozambique, and flooding in Peru, as well as looming famines across north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
The revised appeal aims to reach over 101 million highly vulnerable people among the estimated 141 million people across 37 countries in need of humanitarian assistance.
“Funding to response plans is a high-impact investment as they are prioritized on the basis of thorough needs assessment and analysis. Supporting the plans also provides the most neutral and impartial aid,” Mr. O’Brien noted, calling on the international community to step up assistance: “We now need donors to set the bar higher and increase their support.”
The Humanitarian Affairs Segment, being held from 21-23 June is a major global platform to discuss activities and issues related to strengthening UN’s humanitarian response around the globe.
The forum also provides a key opportunity for UN Member States, Organizational entities, humanitarian and development partners and the affected communities to discuss emerging and pressing humanitarian issues.
Coinciding with the Humanitarian Affairs Segment, OCHA today also launched the Global Humanitarian Overview 2017 Status Report, which documents evidence humanitarians efforts to assist the world’s most vulnerable people.
According to the Status Report, UN and partners have provided life-saving assistance to 5.8 million people in Yemen and over 3 million people in South Sudan. Also 2.7 million people in Somalia and 2.2 million affected by the Syria crisis have received food. In north-eastern Nigeria, over 2.3 million people have received both emergency food assistance and livelihood support through UN-coordinated plans.