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Humanitarian Appeal 2017 climbs to $23.5 billion as record 141 million people need assistance

21 Jun 2017
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A record 141 million people across 37 countries in the world need humanitarian assistance today while UN-coordinated response plans, aiming to help over 101 million of the most vulnerable, are only one-quarter funded.

In December 2016, UN and partners launched the 2017 humanitarian appeal and international donors have generously provided US$6.2 billion in funding so far. Requirements have since climbed to $23.5 billion, adding $1.3 billion to the requirements and 8 million to the number of people to receive aid, leaving the global appeal funded 26 per cent halfway through the year.

New disasters and deteriorating protracted emergencies are driving up the numbers. The rapid escalation of violence in Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of Congo triggered a Flash Appeal to urgently respond to communities’ humanitarian needs. Flash Appeals were also launched to respond to the drought in Kenya, tropical cyclones in Madagascar and Mozambique, and flooding in Peru. This is in addition to some 20 million people who are at risk of famine across north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

“With generous donor support, humanitarian partners have swiftly scaled up to deliver record levels of life-saving assistance in challenging and often dangerous environments. Donors have invested in these efforts but we are in a race against time. People's lives and well-being depend on increasing our collective support,” said Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, on the first day of the annual ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment in Geneva.

The Status Report brings evidence of where humanitarians have reached some of the world’s most vulnerable people: UN and partners have provided life-saving assistance to 5.8 million people in Yemen and over 3 million people in South Sudan. Also 2.7 million people in Somalia and 2.2 million affected by the Syria crisis have received food. And in north-eastern Nigeria, over 2.3 million people have received both emergency food assistance and livelihood support through UN-coordinated plans.

"Funding to response plans is a high-impact investment as they are prioritized on the basis of thorough needs assessment and analysis. Supporting the plans also provides the most neutral and impartial aid," Mr. O'Brien said. "We now need donors to set the bar higher and increase their support."