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UN: Global Humanitarian Crisis Will Continue in 2019

Extremely high levels of humanitarian need, driven mainly by armed conflicts, are generating enormous suffering and displacement that will continue in 2019, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said today at the United Nations in Geneva.

“Humanitarian needs will remain extremely high,” Lowcock said at the launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview for 2019. “Something like 132 million people in 42 countries around the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection. Most of those needs occur in long-lasting crisis where there has been limited progress in addressing the root causes,” he added.

The United Nations and its partner organizations aim to assist 93,6 million of the most vulnerable with food, shelter, health care, emergency education, protection and other basic assistance, the Emergency Relief Coordinator and chief of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told reporters.

Something like one person in 70 around the world is caught up in crisis and urgently needs humanitarian help or protection. We have a larger number of people displaced, mostly by conflict than we have seen in the world before, nearly 70 million,” Lowcock said.

“When you look at all humanitarian agencies, fund raising for 2018 will be at a record level, something we think like about 22 billion and that compares with 21,5 billion in 2017,” he added.

Over recent years, the numbers of people affected, and the financial requirements to meet their urgent needs, have also gone up year after year. Large protracted crisis have commanded the majority of resources. Between 2014 and 2018, the crises in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Syria alone accounted for 55 per cent of all funding requested and received.

“We also see that humanitarian organisations are more successful than ever in helping people in saving lives. And that is reflected in the fact that 2018 will be a record year for fund raising for humanitarian response,” Lowcock said.

The country with the biggest problem in 2019 is going to be Yemen. We think that 24 million people in Yemen, that is where 75 percent of the population will need humanitarian assistance,” Lowcock said. “The UN is planning to meet the needs of 15 million people. Our appeal for Yemen is about to going to be for 4 million US dollars,” he said.

In total in 2018, the humanitarian community delivered aid to millions of people in 41 countries.

In conclusion, the UN’s top humanitarian official said that addressing the causes of crises would have to become a greater focus for the future. “One of the big takeaways for me from this year’s analysis is that we need to make it a bigger priority in 2019 to address the underlining causes of crisis: insecurity, conflict, poverty, development failures, inadequate adaptation and resilience to climate change and other disasters,” he said –UNTV CH

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