by Aahana Khemani

Research shows that $35 billion are needed to deter widespread famine, fight poverty, and keep children in school. Over this year, there has been a 40% increase in the number of people needing help. The COVID 19 pandemic is expanding the number of people who need humanitarian assistance to survive. This is drastically increasing the rates of extreme poverty in just one year. 

The UN reported in its Global Humanitarian Overview 2021, that one in every 33 people, will need assistance to meet fundamental needs such as food, water, and sanitation. That’s approximately 235 million people worldwide, with focus on countries such as Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia. “The crisis is far from over” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement.“Humanitarian aid budgets face dire shortfalls as the impact of the global pandemic continues to worsen.” He continued. 

Multiple countries also came to aid by giving a record $17 billion in 2020 for collective humanitarian response. This money reached around 70% of the targeted people. The UN stated that this money that is raised is less than half of the needed $35 billion to deter widespread famine, fight poverty, and keep children in school.“The rich world can now see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock in a statement. “The same is not true in the poorest countries.”

As the pandemic continues delaying food systems, the hunger rate is noticeably ascending. Food is one of the most needed resources for one to survive, and if something is not done about the hunger during this pandemic, many will starve. The UN forecasted that by the end of 2020, around 270 million people will lack reliable access to food, considering the cost of meeting food aid this year rose to $9 billion from $5 billion in 2015. 

We as a global community need to hold hands and support the 1in 33 people who need humanitarian aid. Whether it be through monetary donations, or voluntary time donations. People in poverty need to have access to basic necessities such as food, water, sanitation & hygiene, healthcare facilities, etc. Without which, millions of peoples’ lives’ will be in danger.