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UN makes record aid appeal amid disasters and Ukraine war

People take refuge in a relief camp set up on a higher ground surrounded by floodwaters in Pakistan (Fareed Khan/AP)
People take refuge in a relief camp set up on a higher ground surrounded by floodwaters in Pakistan (Fareed Khan/AP)

The United Nations said on Thursday that it is asking member states for a record 51.5 billion US dollars (£42.4bn) in aid funding for next year, as disasters and the ongoing war in Ukraine drive up humanitarian needs worldwide.

The global body’s humanitarian office said the funds are needed to help 339 million people in 69 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared with the same time last year.

The appeal is a 25% increase on that made for 2022, it said.

“Humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year’s extreme events are spilling into 2023,” said the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths.

He cited droughts in the Horn of Africa, floods in Pakistan and the conflict in Ukraine, which have pushed the number of displaced people worldwide above 100 million.

“All of this on top of the devastation left by the pandemic among the world’s poorest,” said Mr Griffiths.

“For people on the brink, this appeal is a lifeline. For the international community, it is a strategy to make good on the pledge to leave no one behind.”

The UN’s annual Global Humanitarian Overview combines funding required by the global body and numerous non-governmental organisations

Current funding provided by member states is less than half of what is needed, forcing aid groups and agencies “to decide who to target with the funds available,” the UN humanitarian office said.