UNITED NATIONS, Dec 18 (IPS) – Funding humanitarian programs will continue into the new year, but the funding cuts of the previous year may impact the prioritization of the most immediate and most life-threatening needs.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) for 2024. This annual assessment of the global humanitarian sector provides insight into the humanitarian action undertaken by the UN and its partners and reviews current and future trends in this sector.
Major crises have been the result of violent conflicts or global climate disasters. The economic impact of these crises has been a contributing factor to the increasing humanitarian needs in places like Afghanistan and Syria, or indicative of greater economic instability. The need for food, water, shelter, and health services, have also contributed to the assessment of needs among affected communities. As a result of these crises, 1 in 73 people have been forcibly displaced. Over 258 million people have experienced acute food insecurity. Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, has remarked that the international community has not been “keeping pace with the needs” brought on by these crises.
For this year, there was a reported decrease in funding from the year prior. In the previous year, in spite of efforts and repeated calls from UN officials to increase funding, the UN received only one-third of the requested $57 billion for 2023. In 2024, the UN and its humanitarian partners are calling for USD$46.4 billion to assist 180.5 million in 72 countries. The North Africa and Middle East region, which includes the Palestinian Territory, Syria and Yemen, will require US$13.9 billion, which is the largest amount being asked. East and Southern Africa is next, requiring US$10.9 billion, followed by Central and West Africa requiring US$8.3 billion, and Asia and the Pacific, which is calling for US$5.5 billion.
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