Friday, January 21, 2022

COVID, conflict prompts UN to make record appeals for humanitarian aid

The United Nations is appealing for a record $41 billion to help 183 million of the world’s most vulnerable people suffering from multiple crises, including poverty, hunger, conflict and the effects of COVID-19.

UN officials report that an estimated 274 million people worldwide will need emergency aid and protection over the next year. This is an increase of 17 percent from 2021.

United Nations emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths cited prolonged conflicts, political instability, failing economies, the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic as the main drivers of the need.

“There are 45 million people at risk of famine worldwide. One percent of humanity is displaced, and it comes as no surprise to all of us that women and girls are the ones who suffer the most, as are civilians. War suffers the most,” he said.

Griffiths said humanitarian aid could limit the worst of the current and emerging crises. For example, he said UN aid brought back half a million people from the brink of famine in South Sudan this year. He said aid agencies provided health care for 10 million people in Yemen and helped save millions of others in Myanmar from deadly diseases.

FILE – Children carry bags over their heads as they walk through flooded fields near Malualakon in northern Bahr al Ghazal state, South Sudan, October 20, 2021.

While aid saves lives, he notes that it is not a solution. He said that humanitarian aid cannot take the place of development aid.

“And we see in many countries—Afghanistan is just one most recent example. Humanitarian aid is not a solution for the people of Afghanistan. This is not the way to stabilize societies. One of the tragedies of the situation in Ethiopia is what we Now let’s see the result of that conflict, that is erosion of development gains in the last 40 years,” he said.

Griffith sees the crisis in Ethiopia as one of the most alarming in terms of urgent emergency needs. He noted that nine million people in the Amhara, Afar and Tigre regions of northern Ethiopia face severe food shortages.

Among them, he says, five million people in the Tigre suffer from acute hunger, of whom 400,000 are on the verge of famine. He said he was deeply concerned about rebel military advances on Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, warning that it would have a seismic effect on the rest of the country, affecting the entire country.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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