Next year will set another record for humanitarian relief requirements with 339 million people in need of assistance in 69 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared to the same time last year, the United Nations and partner organizations said today.
The estimated cost of the humanitarian response going into 2023 is US$51.5 billion, a 25 per cent increase compared to the beginning of 2022, according to the 2023 Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO).
“This is our SOS call for help,” said Joyce Msuya, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator during a launch event in the Saudi capital, jointly hosted by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief).
“If this SOS is heard, then we will have the power not just to alleviate suffering in the short-term but to ensure millions of the world’s most vulnerable people can secure the right to a life of lasting dignity, away from a world of permanent crisis and towards a world of permanent prosperity.”
The Overview paints a stark picture of what lies ahead:
• At least 222 million people in 53 countries will face acute food insecurity by the end of 2022.
Forty-five million people in 37 countries risk starvation.
• Public health is under pressure by COVID-19, monkeypox, vector-borne diseases and outbreaks of Ebola and Cholera.
• Climate change is driving up risks and vulnerability. By the end of the century, extreme heat could claim as many lives as cancer.
• Ten countries have appeals exceeding $1 billion: Afghanistan ($4.6 billion), Syria ($4.4 billion), Ukraine ($3.9 billion), Yemen ($4.2 billion), Ethiopia ($3.5 billion) the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia ($2.3 billion each), South Sudan and Sudan ($1.7 billion each), and finally Nigeria ($1.2 billion).
“Two of the major humanitarian challenges to addressing global food insecurity are lack of safe humanitarian access to areas in which aid is most needed, and insufficient levels of funding,” Dr.
Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Adviser to the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre. “Humanitarian organizations must work closely with governments to ensure the safe transport of aid to those most in need while also providing protection for aid workers. Also, we must encourage all countries able to do so to step up their funding levels urgently to alleviate the catastrophic levels of suffering we are seeing today in so many parts of the world.”
This year, humanitarian organizations have delivered assistance to stave off the most urgent needs of millions of people. This includes food assistance for 127 million people; sufficient safe water for nearly 26 million people; livelihood assistance for 24 million people; mental health and psychosocial support for 13 million children and caregivers; maternal health consultations for 5.2 million mothers; and healthcare services for 5.8 million refugees and asylum-seekers, among other interventions.
Humanitarians have painstakingly negotiated access to communities in need, recently in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince to deliver water and food rations. And the Black Sea Grain Initiative has been renewed, ensuring a continuous flow of food commodities to global markets from Ukraine.
National organizations are providing locally grounded guidance as members of eight out of ten Humanitarian Country Teams. And local organizations led by women are engaged in humanitarian planning and programming from Afghanistan to Central African Republic.
Donors have provided a generous $24 billion in funding as of mid-November 2022, but needs are rising faster than the financial support. The funding gap has never been greater, currently at 53 per cent. Humanitarian organizations are therefore forced to make calls who to target with the funds available.
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs