MADRID, 1 Dic. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA, for its acronym in English), has warned this Monday that 235 million people around the world will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, that is, one in three , representing an increase of 40 percent in one year.
This figure is exacerbated by the “COVID-19 shock, which has brought the number of people in need of humanitarian aid to” an unprecedented level, “so the UN and its partners” aim to help 160 million the most vulnerable people “.
Among the emerging challenges are hunger, conflict, displacement and the effects of the climate crisis, as well as the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.
The pandemic has caused food prices to rise, has led to falling incomes, as well as the interruption of vaccination programs and the closure of schools.
“Extreme poverty has increased for the first time in 22 years. Multiple famines are looming on the horizon,” the agency warned in the published document.
“Solidarity and funding from the rest of the world” is needed, which is why OCHA presents the Global Humanitarian Outlook 2021 this Tuesday in Geneva, which establishes 34 response plans covering 56 vulnerable countries.
Although “the humanitarian system once again proved its worth in 2020, providing food, medicine, shelter, education and other essential services to tens of millions of people,” the crisis “is far from over,” warns the United Nations Secretary-General. , António Guterres.
For this reason, he has appealed, since “humanitarian aid budgets face serious shortages as the impact of the global pandemic continues to worsen. Together, we must mobilize resources and show solidarity with people in their darkest hour of need”.
“Next year we will need 35,000 million dollars (more than 29,000 million euros) to avoid famine, fight poverty and keep children vaccinated and in school,” said the UN humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock.
In this sense, “we are faced with a clear choice. We can let 2021 be the year of a great setback – undoing 40 years of progress – or we can work together to ensure that we all find a way out of this pandemic,” he said. concluded.
Although in 2020 international donors have broken a record number of donations, with 17,000 million dollars (more than 14,000 million dollars) for the collective humanitarian response, the needs are growing, and the funding is still less than half of what asked the United Nations and its partners.