The Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) is the most comprehensive, authoritative and evidence-based assessment of world humanitarian needs, which are growing faster than funding.
There are two main reasons for this. First, the current state of geopolitics means conflicts are becoming more protracted and intense. Combatants display growing disregard for international humanitarian law. People caught up in conflict suffer displacement, hunger, psychosocial trauma, and loss of their livelihoods, education facilities and health services. That’s in addition to the direct impact of fighting, bombing and other violence affecting their physical safety and security.
Second, climate change. More frequent drought and extreme weather events, such as flooding and tropical cyclones, disproportionately affect already poor and vulnerable populations. Eleven of the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change have appealed for humanitarian aid in each of the past seven years. We need to do better in prioritizing climate change adaptation as part of humanitarian response.
Slower economic growth and debt problems aggravate conflict and climate change in ways that risk further entrenching humanitarian needs. In 2019, 56 million people in need of humanitarian assistance lived in 12 of the 33 countries in, or at risk of, debt distress.
The number of people needing help will grow in 2020. But humanitarian organizations are getting better at targeting help to the neediest and acting as soon as a problem arises. Read the full report.