Conflicts, climate emergencies and collapsing economies are wreaking havoc in communities around the world. Nearly 181 million people in 72 countries are targeted to receive humanitarian aid and protection next year; 128 million people received life-saving assistance in 2023, but a growing funding gap meant that support was cut back and millions of people were not reached; response plans for 2024 are ultraprioritized on the most urgent needs, and budgets have been tightened.
On behalf of more than 1,900 humanitarian partners worldwide, the United Nations today launched its global appeal for 2024, calling for US$46.4 billion to help 180.5 million people with life-saving assistance and protection.
Armed conflicts, the climate emergency and collapsing economies are taking a devastating toll on the most vulnerable communities on all continents, resulting in catastrophic hunger, massive displacement and disease outbreaks.
One child in every five lives in, or has fled from, conflict zones in 2023. Some 258 million people face acute hunger. One in 73 people worldwide is displaced – a doubling in 10 years. And disease outbreaks are causing preventable deaths in all corners of the world.
“Humanitarians are saving lives, fighting hunger, protecting children, pushing back epidemics, and providing shelter and sanitation in many of the world’s most inhumane contexts. But the necessary support from the international community is not keeping pace with the needs,” said Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.
“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. If we cannot provide more help in 2024, people will pay for it with their lives.”
Funding shortfalls in 2023 meant that humanitarian organizations reached less than two thirds of the people they aimed to assist.
The consequences are tragic: In Afghanistan, 10 million people lost access to food assistance between May and November. In Myanmar, more than half a million people were left in inadequate living conditions. In Yemen, more than 80 per cent of people targeted for assistance do not have proper water and sanitation. And in Nigeria, only 2 per cent of the women expecting sexual and reproductive health services and gender-based violence prevention received it.
Aid organizations have addressed this needs-and-resources gap in their 2024 response plans, which will have a more disciplined focus on the most urgent needs and will target fewer people: nearly 181 million next year compared to 245 million at the end of 2023. Organizations are also appealing for less money: $46.4 billion for 2024 compared to $56.7 billion at the end of the 2023 global appeal.
However, the ambition to reach all people in need has not changed, and the call to donors to dig deep and fully fund all the response plans is as urgent as ever.
On the occasion of today’s launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview 2024, three successive high-level events will take place, starting in Doha, Qatar, followed by Geneva, Switzerland, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).