According to the annual United Nations (UN) Global Humanitarian Overview released on Tuesday, about $35 billion will be needed for aid next year as the UN predicts 235 million people worldwide will need some form of emergency assistance in 2021. That is, a staggering forty per cent increase in the past year.

“The increase arises almost entirely because of Covid-19,” United Nations emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock told reporters on Tuesday.

Next year, one in 33 people worldwide will be in need of aid, the report found, stressing that if all of them lived in one country, it would be the world’s fifth largest nation.

The annual appeal by UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations usually presents a depressing picture of soaring needs brought on by conflicts, displacement, natural disasters and climate change.

But now, it warned, the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 1.45 million people worldwide, has disproportionately hit those “already living on a knife’s edge.”

“The picture we are presenting is the bleakest and darkest perspective on humanitarian need in the period ahead that we have ever set out,” Lowcock said.

The money requested in the appeal would be enough to help 160 million of the most vulnerable people across 56 countries, the UN said.

For further coverage on UN

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