160 Million People Targeted In New UN Humanitarian Response Plan
The plan aims to support 160 million people, including those disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Soweto, South Africa, poverty and crowded conditions made lockdowns much harder.

More than 235 million people worldwide will require humanitarian protection next year: an increase of 40% in 12 months.

The United Nations (UN)has announced an appeal for US$35 billion, which it estimates will be required to support 160 million of those most in need of support, across 56 countries.

The Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) 2021, published on Tuesday 1 December, has outlined 34 appeals designed to support vulnerable populations who are disproportionately affected by conflict, displacement, and the impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In 2020, COVID-19 altered the landscape of humanitarian response,” the abridged report stated. Analyses of the impact of the pandemic have been considered alongside pre-existing crises.

UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock

In a press briefing on Tuesday, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said that money will be used from the UN’s Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) to curb the increase in violence against women and girls caused by or linked to the pandemic.

Lowcook said in a statement: “The rich world can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. The same is not true in the poorest countries. The COVID-19 crisis has plunged millions of people into poverty and sent humanitarian needs skyrocketing. Next year we will need $35 billion to stave off famine, fight poverty, and keep children vaccinated and in school.

“A clear choice confronts us. We can let 2021be the year of the grand reversal –the unravelling of 40 years of progress – or we can work together to make sure we all find a way out of this pandemic.”

70% of the people targeted for aid in 2020 were reached, but total donations reached $17 billion – less than half of what is required in 2021.

The report can be read here. The UN statement is available here.

Image Credits: UN Photo/Mark Garten, Matt-80.

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