The world is facing a state of humanitarian crisis not seen since the Second World War: more than 128 million people are affected by conflict, displacement, natural disasters and profound vulnerability. Through strategic and coordinated action, aid organizations around the world aim to deliver urgent relief, protection and support to nearly 93 million of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in 2017. This will require US$22.2 billion in funding – the highest consolidated humanitarian appeal ever launched.
“The scale of humanitarian crises today is greater than at any time since the United Nations was founded. Not in living memory have so many people needed our support and solidarity to survive and live in safety and dignity,” said Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, launching the Global Humanitarian Overview 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Our collective plans to meet people’s needs are ready. They are effective and efficient investments – the best way to help those who need help now. Funding in support of the plans will translate into life-saving food assistance to people on the brink of starvation in the Lake Chad Basin and South Sudan; it will provide protection for the most vulnerable people in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; and it will enable education for children whose schooling is disrupted by El Niño,” said the international aid chief.
The humanitarian appeal is the culmination of a global effort to assess needs and decide collective response strategies by hundreds of organizations delivering food, shelter, health care, protection, emergency education and other basic assistance to people in conflict- and disaster-affected regions. At the start of 2017, the plans presented collectively to the international donor community today will support vital humanitarian operations in 33 countries.
Conflicts in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Nigeria are among the greatest drivers of humanitarian needs, fuelling new displacement within countries and across borders. At the same time, the impact of El Niño-triggered droughts, floods and extreme weather is pushing vulnerable communities to the brink of survival. Responding to these protracted crises has prompted the humanitarian community to strive for better, faster and more effective delivery of aid, as highlighted during the transformational World Humanitarian Summit in May this year.
So far in 2016, international donors have generously provided $11.4 billion to the current global appeal which, over the year, has risen from $20.1 billion to $22.1 billion. However, this represents only 52 per cent of the requirements and humanitarian organizations approach the end of this year with a funding gap of a record $10.7 billion – the largest gap ever.
“The lives of millions of women, girls, boys and men are in our hands,” Mr. O’Brien said. “By responding generously and delivering fully on this appeal we will prove to them that we will not let them down.”
The Global Humanitarian Overview 2017 documentation is available on www.unocha.org/stateofaid.