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Global Humanitarian Appeal hits record $22.5B, aiming to reach 90.9M people with assistance in 2018

01 Dec 2017
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The UN-coordinated response plans for 2018 are based on the world’s most comprehensive, authoritative and evidence-based assessment of humanitarian needs


Newly arrived Rohingya refugees travel by boat from Myanmar on the Bay of Bengal to Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar district, Chittagong Division in Bangladesh. Credit: UNICEF/Patrick Brown

Some 136 million people across the world need humanitarian aid and protection due to protracted conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics and displacement. In response to people’s most urgent needs, UN-coordinated humanitarian response plans launched today in Geneva aim to reach 91 million of the most vulnerable people with food, shelter, health care, emergency education, protection and other basic assistance in 2018.

This will require a record US$22.5 billion in funding, slightly more than the $22.2 billion appeal launched for 2017.

“Humanitarians can only respond to the growing needs with the generous support of our donors. Investing in coordinated response plans is a sound choice. It delivers tangible and measurable results, and has a proven track record of success,” said Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, launching the Global Humanitarian Overview 2018.

In 2017, humanitarian agencies reached tens of millions of people in need, saving millions of lives, and donors provided record levels of funding to Humanitarian Response Plans - nearly $13 billion by the end of November 2017. Together, aid groups and humanitarian donors helped stave off famines in South Sudan, Somalia, north-east Nigeria and Yemen and stepped up to provide rapid assistance to refugees fleeing from violence in Myanmar.

“With this unprecedented level of humanitarian need, we at Save the Children have a lot to do. As NGOs we are working hard to find quicker and more effective ways to use every dollar donated well,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International. “But we also need governments and institutions to take a longer term approach by tackling the cause of these crises as well as the symptoms. By brokering peace agreements, investing in education, helping communities build resilience to climate shocks, and speaking up when people are persecuted. Without this, we will continue to see a record level of suffering.”

For 2018, needs will remain at exceptionally high levels in Nigeria, South Sudan, the Syria region and Yemen, which is likely to remain the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

In some countries needs will fall, but still remain significant, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mali, and Ukraine. But at the same time, needs are rising substantially in Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Somalia.