UN seeks billions of dollars to tackle humanitarian crises

Deutsche Welle
3 Min Read

With more than 20 humanitarian crises raging across the globe, the cash-strapped UN is calling for countries to commit to helping people in need. But one country needs more assistance than any other in the world: Yemen.The UN on Tuesday appealed to the international community to help raise $21.9 billion (€19.2 billion) to tackle more than 20 humanitarian crises across the globe.

However, that figure does not include funding requirements for Syria, which would likely bring the total to more than $25 billion.

According to the UN, one in every 70 people is directly affected by a crisis. With their funding target, aid projects are hoping to assist more than 90 million people. But some countries require more humanitarian assistance than others, such as Yemen.

"The country with the biggest problem in 2019 is going to be Yemen," UN aid chief Mark Lowcock said during a press conference in Geneva.

Yemen has been dubbed the world's worst humanitarian situation, with eight million people requiring food assistance monthly. That figure is likely to top 12 million by next year, Lowcock added.

Read more: Germany boosts foreign aid amid rising global crises

'More effective than ever'

Humanitarian crises have grown longer over the past decade despite a significant increase in fundraising, said a report published on Tuesday by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

By 2017, the average length of a humanitarian crisis with UN involvement grew from four years to seven, "while the number of active crises receiving an internationally-led response almost doubled from 16 to 30."

Lowcock said it shows that the "system today is more effective than ever," with fundraising for humanitarian crises set to reach a record amount this year.

"We are better at identifying different groups' specific needs and vulnerabilities and quicker to respond when disaster strikes," Lowcock said. "Response plans are now more inclusive, comprehensive, innovative and prioritized."

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ls/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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