235 million need humanitarian assistance in 2021

A record 235 million people will need humanitarian assistance next year due to COVID-19, the UN’s emergency relief chief said on Tuesday.

The number represents a near-40 percent increase on 2020.

In an appeal for $35 billion s to meet humanitarian needs next year, Mark Lowcock said the global health crisis had resulted in people reeling from conflict, levels of displacement and climate change shocks.

He added that “multiple” famines are looming.

This year’s Global Humanitarian Overview sets out plans “to reach 160 million of the most vulnerable people in 56 countries,” Lowcock said.

He noted that while richer countries had invested large amount in staving off economic disaster from the COVID-induced slump and could now see “light at the end of the tunnel,” the situation in relatively poor countries might not be the same.