UN warns of a “bleak” 2021 for humanitarian emergencies

The UN has warned of a “bleak” 2021 for humanitarian emergencies and says we “face a choice” – let the year be the unravelling of 40 years of progress or work together to ffind a way out of this pandemic.

THE consequences of the pandemic, together with recession, the effects of climate change and conflicts have resulted in a significant increase in the need for humanitarian aid, warns the UN, which will request $35,000 billion (€29 billion) for the attention to these crises.

“We have a choice to make: let 2021 be the year of great setback, after 40 years of progress, or work together to ensure that we find a way out of this pandemic,” warned the UN chief of humanitarian operations, Mark Lowcock, in presenting the priorities for the agency next year.

He added: “The virus caught the world off guard, and at the start of this year there were lots we didn’t know. But at this stage, no one can claim ignorance as an excuse for inaction.

“It has been clear for some time that it is not the virus itself doing most harm in vulnerable countries. It is the secondary impacts of the subsequent lockdowns and global recession – rising food prices, falling incomes, drops in remittances, interrupted vaccination programs, school closures.

“They all hit the poorest people in the poorest countries hardest.”

Depsite continued efforts from humanitarian agencies, Lowcock said “the outlook is bleak”.

“Despite the increased generosity of donors, the gap between needs and the finance available keeps growing.

“We still don’t have a response that matches the scale of the crisis….$35 billion is required to meet the needs of 160 million people. The faster that happens, the better.”

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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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