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UN says 235 million people will be in need of humanitarian aid in 2021

As of now, the UN and its partners have devised a plan to serve 160 million of those in need of humanitarian aid – the cost of the endeavor is estimated to cost $35 billion.

Syria-bound trucks, loaded with humanitarian supplies, get ready to leave a UN transhipment hub in Reyhanli, near the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province (photo credit: REUTERS)

Syria-bound trucks, loaded with humanitarian supplies, get ready to leave a UN transhipment hub in Reyhanli, near the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province

(photo credit: REUTERS)

Some 235 million people will be in need of humanitarian aid, assistance and protection over the course of 2021, according to the UN-coordinated response plan.

The numbers are up 40% from the same time last year, notably due to the coronavirus pandemic which has exacerbated the amount of people who became in need humanitarian aid over the course of 2020.

As of now, the UN and its partners have devised a plan to serve 160 million of those in need of humanitarian aid – the cost of the endeavor is estimated to cost $35 billion.

The plan will cover 56 “vulnerable” countries, through 34 separate response plans, according to the proposal presented in Geneva on Tuesday with opening remarks given by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock.

More presentations surrounding details of the humanitarian aid proposal will be given throughout the day in Berlin, Brussels, London and Washington.

“The humanitarian system again proved its worth in 2020, delivering food, medicines, shelter, education and other essentials to tens of millions of people,” said Guterres.

“But the crisis is far from over. Humanitarian aid budgets face dire shortfalls as the impact of the global pandemic continues to worsen. Together, we must mobilize resources and stand in solidarity with people in their darkest hour of need,” he added.

“The rich world can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. The same is not true in the poorest countries,” Lowcock said. “The COVID-19 crisis has plunged millions of people into poverty and sent humanitarian needs skyrocketing. Next year we will need $35 billion to stave off famine, fight poverty, and keep children vaccinated and in school.”

“A clear choice confronts us. We can let 2021 be the year of the grand reversal – the unraveling of 40 years of progress – or we can work together to make sure we all find a way out of this pandemic,” he added.

International donors so far have gifted a record $17 billion to these humanitarian programs. In 2019, 70% of people targeted in the response plans were reached.

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