UN launches record $51.5 billion humanitarian appeal for 2023

Next year will set another record for humanitarian relief requirements with 339 million people in need of assistance in 69 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared to the same time last year, the United Nations and partner organizations said today.

The estimated cost of the humanitarian response going into 2023 is US$51.5 billion, a 25 per cent increase compared to the beginning of 2022, according to the 2023 Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO).

“This is our SOS call for help,” said Joyce Msuya, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator during a launch event in the Saudi capital, jointly hosted by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief).

“If this SOS is heard, then we will have the power not just to alleviate suffering in the short-term but to ensure millions of the world’s most vulnerable people can secure the right to a life of lasting dignity, away from a world of permanent crisis and towards a world of permanent prosperity.”

The Overview paints a stark picture of what lies ahead:

• At least 222 million people in 53 countries will face acute food insecurity by the end of 2022.

Forty-five million people in 37 countries risk starvation.

• Public health is under pressure by COVID-19, monkeypox, vector-borne diseases and outbreaks of Ebola and Cholera.

• Climate change is driving up risks and vulnerability. By the end of the century, extreme heat could claim as many lives as cancer.

• Ten countries have appeals exceeding $1 billion: Afghanistan ($4.6 billion), Syria ($4.4 billion), Ukraine ($3.9 billion), Yemen ($4.2 billion), Ethiopia ($3.5 billion) the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia ($2.3 billion each), South Sudan and Sudan ($1.7 billion each), and finally Nigeria ($1.2 billion).

“Two of the major humanitarian challenges to addressing global food insecurity are lack of safe humanitarian access to areas in which aid is most needed, and insufficient levels of funding,” Dr.

Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Adviser to the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre. “Humanitarian organizations must work closely with governments to ensure the safe transport of aid to those most in need while also providing protection for aid workers. Also, we must encourage all countries able to do so to step up their funding levels urgently to alleviate the catastrophic levels of suffering we are seeing today in so many parts of the world.”

This year, humanitarian organizations have delivered assistance to stave off the most urgent needs of millions of people. This includes food assistance for 127 million people; sufficient safe water for nearly 26 million people; livelihood assistance for 24 million people; mental health and psychosocial support for 13 million children and caregivers; maternal health consultations for 5.2 million mothers; and healthcare services for 5.8 million refugees and asylum-seekers, among other interventions.

Humanitarians have painstakingly negotiated access to communities in need, recently in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince to deliver water and food rations. And the Black Sea Grain Initiative has been renewed, ensuring a continuous flow of food commodities to global markets from Ukraine.

National organizations are providing locally grounded guidance as members of eight out of ten Humanitarian Country Teams. And local organizations led by women are engaged in humanitarian planning and programming from Afghanistan to Central African Republic.

Donors have provided a generous $24 billion in funding as of mid-November 2022, but needs are rising faster than the financial support. The funding gap has never been greater, currently at 53 per cent. Humanitarian organizations are therefore forced to make calls who to target with the funds available.

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

West African Leaders Plan Peacekeeping Force to Counter ‘Coup Belt’ Reputation

West and Central Africa has made strides in the past decade to shed its reputation as a “coup belt,” but the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) wants to do more to boost constitutional government in its member states.

“The leaders of ECOWAS have decided to recalibrate our security architecture to ensure that we take care of our own security in the region,” the leaders said in a communique after an annual summit in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

“The leaders are determined to establish a regional force that will intervene in the event of need, whether this is in the area of security, terrorism (or to) … restore constitutional order in member countries.”

ECOWAS did not give any details of how the force would be constituted but said defense chiefs would meet next month to work out how it would operate.

The ECOWAS leaders also expressed concern over the continued detention of 46 Ivorian soldiers in Mali. They asked Malian authorities to release the soldiers by the end of this month.

If the soldiers were not released, ECOWAS leaders “reserve the right and they have taken the decision to take certain measures, but they would appeal and call on the authorities of Mali to release the soldiers.”

On Guinea, the leaders said the military authorities should immediately have an inclusive dialog with all the parties and politicians, and also expressed serious concern about the security situation in Burkina Faso, which had a coup in October.

Source: Voice of America

UNICEF DRC Humanitarian Situation Report No. 6 (Upsurge of violence in Rutshuru territory): 21-27 November 2022

• Despite the decision a ceasefire after the mini-Summit held in Angola fighting continue in the western part of Rutshuru territory, causing additional population displacements

• Over 370,000 persons, including 228,000 women, have been displaced since the start of the conflict 49% live in sites and collective shelters, 92% of the sites are in Nyragongo territory

• 36 suspected cholera cases have been reported in Nyragongo territory including 29 from the Kanyaruchinya health area • UNICEF and partners continue aiding the most vulnerable households through NFI-kits distributions and WASH, child protection, health, education, and nutrition interventions in this volatile and unpredictable environment

Situation Overview

Fighting continue in the western part of Rutshuru territory towards Bwito’s chiefdom in Tongo and Bambo area. The M23 reportedly extended is control over the villages of Buhambi, Bambo, and Kishishe.

A mini summit on “peace and security in eastern DRC” (Luanda, November 23) was organized by Angola’s President in his role as mediator between the DRC and Rwanda. Participants included the President of the DRC, Burundi and Kenya. Rwanda was represented by its Minister of Foreign Affairs. Among the conclusions, a cessation of hostilities between M23 and FARDC was decided for Friday 25 November. However, no cease-fire has yet been observed. Clashes continued after 25 November in the west Rutshuru towards the areas bordering Masisi territory and on the Nyamilima – Ishasha axis north of Rutshuru causing further population movements.

A worrying 65% increase of suspected cholera cases is being reported, from 62 suspected cases in the province in during the epidemiological week (EW) 46 (14-20 november) to 102 suspected cases in EW47 (21-27 november). 36 of these suspected cases are from Nyiragongo territory including 29 from the Kanyaruchinya health area where 168,000 people are displaced in overcrowded and precarious sites and collective shelters.

IOM estimates that over 370,000 persons, including 228,000 women, have been displaced since the start of the conflict 49% live in sites and collective shelters, 92% of the sites are in Nyragongo territory. (DTM – IOM, 28 November 2021).

Source: UN Children’s Fund