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More people in need than ever before – humanitarian needs in 2020

More people in need than ever before

More people in need than ever before, © UN OCHA

04.12.2019 - Article

According to the assessment conducted for the Global Humanitarian Overview, almost 168 million people around the world will need humanitarian assistance next year. The landmark annual report is being presented in the Federal Foreign Office today (4 December) in cooperation with the United Nations. 

More people in need than ever before

Ongoing conflicts and a growing number of climate disasters mean that more people than ever now depend on humanitarian assistance. In 2020, this figure will amount to around 168 million people. In order to meet the most urgent needs, 28.8 billion US dollars are currently needed.

This was a finding of the Global Humanitarian Overview, the annual report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which shows how many people need humanitarian assistance and in which regions they need it. For the first time, the Global Humanitarian Overview is also being launched in Berlin this year. Minister of State Niels Annen and Ursula Müller, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, will present the report in the Federal Foreign Office.

Annen commented as follows:

Germany is working with its humanitarian partners around the world to help people in need and save lives. The Global Humanitarian Overview helps the German Government and millions of private donors to understand more about where humanitarian assistance is most urgently needed and how it can be used most effectively. As one of the largest humanitarian donors in the world, Germany helps OCHA to constantly improve processes for assessing humanitarian need and to make humanitarian assistance as a whole more effective. It is vital that every euro available for humanitarian assistance is translated into the best possible support.

Increased funding for humanitarian assistance

Burkina Faso: due to droughts people depend on humanitarian assistance
Burkina Faso: due to droughts people depend on humanitarian assistance© UN OCHA

In view of the crises and humanitarian emergencies around the world, particularly in northern Iraq and Syria, the German Bundestag voted on 29 November 2019 to increase funding for humanitarian assistance from the 1.58 billion euros in the draft budget to 1.64 billion euros. Germany continually endeavours in international bodies to ensure that the humanitarian system functions in a constantly changing environment.

Addressing the causes and alleviating suffering

In addition to the launch, experts, representatives of leading humanitarian organisations and people affected will discuss the reasons for the constant increase in humanitarian need. The focus will be on internal and transnational displacement as a result of conflicts, natural disasters or climate change.

Global Humanitarian Overview

Every year, OCHA presents its Global Humanitarian Overview for the coming year. Based on comprehensive data and analyses, the report states how many people will need humanitarian assistance and where this aid will be needed, and what funding the international community must provide in order to implement the aid plans.

For the first time, the report is being launched simultaneously in five locations this year. The aim here is to generate the greatest possible publicity and global willingness to help alleviate the suffering of millions of people in humanitarian emergencies, including and in particular for those affected by crises that have already lasted a long time and are no longer in the headlines.

Germany is the second-largest humanitarian donor in the world.

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