A total of 274 million people worldwide will need emergency aid and protection in 2022, a 17 per cent increase compared with this year, UN humanitarians have said. The amount is equivalent to “the world’s fourth most populous country”, Martin Griffiths, UN Humanitarian Affairs chief said at the launch of the 2022 Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) in Geneva.
The 2022 GHO document, published annually by the United Nations and partners, includes 37 response plans covering 63 countries. It estimates that $41 billion is required to provide relief and protection to the 183 million people most in need. “The climate crisis is hitting the world’s most vulnerable people first and worst. Protracted conflicts grind on, and instability has worsened in several parts of the world, notably Ethiopia, Myanmar and Afghanistan,” he said, “and of course the Covid pandemic, which we have recently been reminded, has not gone away” with poor countries deprived of vaccines.
According to the report, more than one per cent of the world’s population is displaced and extreme poverty is rising again. In most crises, women and girls suffer the most, as gender inequalities and protection risks are heightened. There are also 45 million people living in 43 countries, at risk of famine, Martin Griffiths noted.
To prevent famine globally and address the major threats driving food insecurity: conflict, the climate crisis, COVID-19 and economic shocks, some 120 civil-society organisations – nearly 100 of them based in countries hard hit by hunger – have issued a joint letter urging world leaders to fully fund the response.
In 2021, the UN “rose to the challenge” and delivered food, medicines, health care and other essential assistance to 107 million people this year – 70 per cent of the target. Martin Griffiths noted that in South Sudan, over half a million people were brought back from the brink of famine. Healthcare was delivered to 10 million people in Yemen. He also pointed out that aid agencies “never left Afghanistan, in the wake of August’s Taliban takeover. We have a programme for 2022, three times the size of programme for 2021 because of the needs”.