UN launches 2016 humanitarian appeal asking for $20.1 billion, the highest request ever

More than 125 million people in the world need humanitarian assistance. This will require a record US$20.1 billion in funding – five times the amount a decade ago.

Through collective and coordinated action, aid organisations aim to bring urgent help to more than 87.6 million of the most vulnerable and marginalized of them in 2016. “Suffering in the world has reached levels not seen in a generation. Conflicts and disasters have driven millions of children, women and men to the edge of survival. They desperately need our help,” said Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, launching the Global Humanitarian Overview 2016 in Geneva.


Extract from the Global Humanitarian Overview 2016

The humanitarian appeal is the culmination of a global effort in which hundreds of organisations delivering food, shelter, medicine, protection, emergency education and other basic assistance to people in conflict- and disaster-affected regions come together to assess needs, decide response strategies and present their plans to donors. At the start of 2016, the plans span responses in 37 countries.

A video-Hopes and Needs

Conflicts in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen will remain among the greatest drivers of prolonged humanitarian needs in 2016, fueling new displacement within countries and across borders.

Worldwide, the number of people forced to flee their homes has already reached 60 million, a level previously unknown in the post-World War II era.

“Mass movement of people, be it refugees or people fleeing within their own countries, has become the new defining reality of the 21st century,” said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “The international humanitarian system is all too often the only safety net that exists for people fleeing wars. It has to be funded on a scale that’s realistic and commensurate with today’s immense challenges. It is clear that with the present level of resources, we are not able to provide even the very minimum in both core protection and life-saving assistance.”

In 2015, international donors provided only $9.7 billion to the global appeal but it represents only 49 per cent of the requirements which in the course of the year rose to $19.9 billion.

Humanitarian organizations approach the end of 2015 with a funding gap of a record $10.2 billion – the largest gap ever.

Dr. Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, Chair of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and President of Mercy Malaysia, said: “Humanitarian response must be understood as an investment in people, not as a sunk cost. Investing to help those in need provides returns however we measure it – in human life and dignity it’s priceless of course, but also in financial terms. The real price being paid today is by those who are hungry, are without safety, fleeing war and terror.”

The humanitarian appeal 2016 is based on response plans and strategies in 27 crises: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

Central African Republic, Burundi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen are crises that affect entire regions and their neighbouring countries are included in regional response plans raising the number of countries included in the plans to 37.

The Global Humanitarian Overview 2016 documentation, including an online version of the appeal document and global funding map, can be found on

Appeal document deep link (PDF format):

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