Head of the United Nations (UN) humanitarian office Mark Lowcock. (Photo: VCG)
GENEVA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The world has exceptionally high humanitarian needs driven mainly by armed conflicts that create immense suffering and displacement for years, and international agencies will need 21.9 billion U.S. dollars to do their work in 2019, the United Nations said Tuesday.
In 2019, nearly 132 million people across the world will need humanitarian assistance, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said at a press briefing in Geneva, presenting the Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 (GHO).
The country with the biggest problems is going to be Yemen, he said, while also noting that there is an 80 percent chance of an El Nino climatic event which could lead to drought in southern African countries such as Madagascar, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
The United Nations and its partner organizations aim to assist 93.6 million of the most vulnerable people with food, shelter, health care, emergency education, protection, and other necessary assistance.
"We are going to increase our cooperation with development agencies," Lowcock said.
He explained that early action and innovative financing, such as risk insurance and contingency financing, can help close this gap.
"Improved coordination with development programming in 2019 can also help reduce overall future requirements by tackling the root causes of humanitarian need and strengthening community resilience," said Lowcock.
Donors have this year provided a record 14.3 billion U.S. dollars, about 10 percent more than the same time in 2017, which was itself a record.
The 21.9-billion-dollar funding requirement does not include the financial requirements for Syria, which will be confirmed when the 2019 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan is finalized, said the UN coordinator.
"Donors are increasingly generous, yet every year there is a gap between what is required, and the funding received," Lowcock said.
The total requirements, including those for Syria, are likely to be comparable to the current needs of around 25 billion U.S. dollars.
Large, protracted crises have commanded most of the resources for global humanitarian needs.
Between 2014 and 2018, the crises in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria alone accounted for 55 percent of all funding requested and received.
The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.
Natural disasters and climate change also have a high human cost. Disasters affect 350 million people on average each year and cause billions of dollars in damage.