UN launches $46bn appeal to respond to worsening crises in 2024

International |  IANS  | Published :

United Nations, Dec 12 (IANS) The UN has issued an appeal for $46.4 billion for 2024 to help 181 million people facing catastrophic hunger, mass displacement and diseases worldwide.

At the unveiling of the Global Humanitarian Overview 2024 on Monday, UN emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths commended the valiant efforts of humanitarians while stressing that the international support provided is significantly insufficient in comparison to the rapidly increasing needs, reports Xinhua news agency.

"We thank all donors for their contributions, which amount to $20 billion so far this year -- but that is just a third of what was needed," said Griffiths, who is also the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

"If we cannot provide more help in 2024, people will pay for it with their lives," he warned.

Describing the goals set by UN humanitarians for the upcoming year, Griffiths noted that although 300 million people globally require assistance, their response plan aims to prioritise 181 million of those most in need, spanning 72 countries.

This amount represents a notable decrease from the $57 billion allocated for 2023, indicating a sharper focus on addressing the most critical needs.

"You can imagine what hard work it has been to reduce those numbers," the UN humanitarian affairs chief said, calling for a focused and a "tough-minded" approach to what agencies are going to be able to achieve.

The Global Humanitarian Overview identifies three key drivers of need: conflicts, global economic situation, and the worsening climate emergency.

The world is experiencing more conflicts, which are more entrenched, with devastating consequences for civilians.

Almost one child in every five around the world is living in or fleeing from conflict zones.

In 2023, the eruption of widespread conflict in Sudan and hostilities between Israel and Gaza caused a dramatic spike in civilian deaths.

In just five weeks the number of civilians killed in Palestine was equivalent to almost 60 per cent of the total global number of civilians killed in 2022, which was itself already the deadliest year since the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

The consequences of funding shortfalls in 2023 have been devastating, as noted by some examples.

In Afghanistan, 10 million people lost access to food assistance between May and November, while Myanmar witnessed over half a million people forced into inadequate living conditions.

Yemen faces a dire situation, with more than 80 per cent of targeted individuals lacking proper water and sanitation, and in Nigeria, only 2 per cent of women in need of sexual and reproductive health services and gender-based violence prevention received the necessary aid.

In conclusion, Griffiths underscored that along with funding, safety for both humanitarians and those they are assisting is critical.

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