The United Nations has called for a record $41 billion support to provide life-saving assistance next year to 183 million people worldwide caught up in conflict and poverty.
Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan are the five major crises requiring the most funding, topped by $4.5 billion sought for Taliban-ruled Afghanistan where “needs are skyrocketing”, the UN said in its annual report to the donors.
“The drivers of needs are ones which are familiar to all of us. Tragically, it includes protracted conflicts, political instability, failing economies … the climate crisis, not a new crisis, but one which urges more attention and of course the COVID-19 pandemic,” UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said.
“The absence of cash in Afghanistan is a major impediment to any delivery of services. I am hoping that we get it up and running before the end of this month,” said Griffiths on Afghanistan.
According to the UN, Ethiopia, where a year-old conflict between the government and Tigrayan forces has spread into the Amhara and Afar regions, thousands have been displaced, while fighting, drought, and locusts push more to the brink.
Nearly 26 million Ethiopians require aid, including more than 9 million who depend on food rations, including 5 million in Tigray, amid rising malnutrition rates, it said.
The UN stressed that famine remains a “terrifying prospect” for 45 million people living in 43 countries, as extreme weather caused by climate change shrinks food supplies, according to the UN report, which reflected a 17 percent rise in annual funding needs.
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