NEW YORK: As conflicts, climate emergencies and collapsing economies continue to wreak havoc on communities worldwide, the UN on Monday issued an appeal for US$46.4 billion for 2024 to help 181 million people facing catastrophic hunger, mass displacement and diseases worldwide.

Launching the Global Humanitarian Overview, Martin Griffiths, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, praised the heroic efforts of humanitarians but emphasised that international support is falling far short of the escalating needs.

“We thank all donors for their contributions, which amount to US$20 billion so far this year – but that is just a third of what was needed,” he stated.

“If we cannot provide more help in 2024, people will pay for it with their lives,” he warned.

The Global Humanitarian Overview identifies three key drivers of need: conflicts, global economic situation, and the worsening climate emergency.

Outlining the objectives that UN humanitarians have set for the coming year, Mr. Griffiths explained that while 300 million people across the world would need assistance, the response would target 181 million of those most in need across 72 countries.

The figure is a significant reduction compared with US$57 billion for 2023, reflecting a greater focus on the most urgent needs.