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UN seeks record $51.5-billion aid ‘lifeline’ next year

GENEVA — The United Nations (UN) and partners on Thursday launched an appeal for a record $51.5 billion in aid money for 2023, with tens of millions of additional people expected to need humanitarian assistance.

The UN Global Humanitarian Overview estimates that an extra 65 million people will need help next year, bringing the total to 339 million in 68 countries.

That represents more than 4% of the people on the planet or about the population of the United States.

“Humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year’s extreme events are spilling into 2023,” said the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, citing the war in Ukraine and drought in the Horn of Africa.

“For people on the brink, this appeal is a lifeline.”

Over 100 million people have been driven from their homes as conflict and climate change fuel a displacement crisis.

Meanwhile, nine months of war between Russia and Ukraine have disrupted food exports and around 45 million people in 37 countries are currently facing starvation, the report said.

This year’s appeal represents a 25% increase compared to last year.

But donor funding is already under strain with the multiple crises. The United Nations faces the biggest funding gap ever, with its appeals only about 53% funded in 2022, based on data through to mid-November.

“Humanitarian organizations are therefore forced to decide who to target with the funds available,” a UN statement said. — Reuters

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