Amid a widespread diffusion of conflicts and crises across the globe, an increasing amount of funding is now required to respond to the world’s growing humanitarian calamities, according to the latest report released today by the United Nations’ relief arm.
Marking a $2.4 billion uptick in financing needs from the last appeal dated December 2014, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) global humanitarian overview status report warns that the Organization and its humanitarian partners will now require a record $18.8 billion to meet the needs of some 79 million vulnerable people across 37 countries.
“While donors give more generously every year, the gap between funds needed and funds provided continues to widen,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, confirmed in a press release.
“This raises questions about our ability to continue to meet affected people’s needs, especially in protracted situations where 80 per cent of our work now takes place, and where we are asked to stay longer and to do more.”
From the ongoing crises in South Sudan, Yemen and Ukraine, to the relief and recovery efforts in earthquake-stricken Nepal, the humanitarian community is facing a series of challenges vast in scope and magnitude, including the dramatic global rise of internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to conflict. According to UN data, in fact, the number of IDPs in 2014 grew to 38 million people compared with 3.3 million the previous year.
“Despite these challenges, the UN and its humanitarian partners are reaching more people than ever and humanitarian workers are still bravely delivering aid to those most in need, often in settings beset by insecurity,” Mr. O’Brien added.
Nevertheless, the current financing outlook for OCHA’s most recent appeal remains worryingly disappointing: only $4.8 billion has been committed, leaving a funding gap of $14 billion.