“The UN releases a record $250 million crisis fund to help the world’s most vulnerable

Monday, February 20, 2023

Displaced by drought, Halima and her daughters live in a shelter built by World Vision and the NRC in a location outside Garowe, Somalia. Photo: UNOCHA/ Basma Ourfali

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Mogadishu (AX) – Record numbers of people are in need of humanitarian assistance worldwide, according to a press release from the United Nations. As a result, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has announced the largest ever allocation of US$250 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help the most vulnerable people in some of the most forgotten crises and to avert famine.

The UN and its partners reached almost 160 million people by 2022, but the need for humanitarian assistance has increased by over 25% since last year, leaving some 339 million people in need of assistance. But the increase in humanitarian needs is outstripping the ability to respond. Meeting the basic needs of 240 million people requires nearly $54 billion, but it is expected that less than half of that amount will be raised.

The recently announced $250 million CERF grant will help people in 19 countries. The aid will be distributed in 8 countries, including Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. In addition, the funds will strengthen the humanitarian response in underfunded crises in Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Honduras, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Pakistan and Sudan to combat food insecurity and address the effects of climate change and protracted crises.

“The dollars will allow early motion, to get forward of rising crises, inclusive of famine,” said Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. “I thank all donors who’ve contributed to CERF. You may have made this great endowment plausible.”

While the new funds will boost humanitarian efforts in 19 emergencies, the UN is stressing the need for earlier and larger amounts of funding. The UN is appealing to donors to top up CERF so that resources can reach more people in need. The organization has also emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes driving humanitarian conditions and increasing investment in development and building resilience in fragile countries.

Last week, the United Nations and its partners sought $2.6 billion to help 7.6 million people in Somalia this year. The country is facing the longest and most severe drought in its history, after five consecutive bad rainy seasons, which have devastated the country.

Approximately 8.25 million people, almost half of the population, are in immediate need of life-saving assistance and protection. Famine is a strong possibility from April to June and beyond if humanitarian aid is not maintained and the next rainfall is insufficient.

“The efforts of neighborhood communities and the scale-up of humanitarian help prevented the famine thresholds from being exceeded in 2022, however thousands and thousands of lives stay,” mentioned Adam Abdelmoula, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.

In Somalia, greater than 1.4 million humans have been displaced at the same time no less than 3.5 million livestock have died, destroying livelihoods and decreasing youngsters’s entry to exploit.

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