December 2020: UK pledges urgent life-saving aid for families hit by coronavirus and hunger around the world
- New UN data reveals humanitarian crises are worsening around the world, with 235 million people expected to be in need of urgent assistance compared to 175 million people at the start of 2020.
- The UK is releasing an extra £47 million of aid to immediately provide food, nutrition, water and shelter for vulnerable families in nine countries and regions.
- The UK is also lobbying international donors to provide more funding and working to ensure conflict parties allow humanitarian access for aid workers and ensure the protection of civilians.
The UK is releasing new emergency aid to help over 1.3 million vulnerable people in some of the world’s most dangerous places, who face daily threats of starvation, conflict and coronavirus.
Life-saving food, nutrition, water, childhood vaccinations and shelter will urgently help families caught in some of the largest humanitarian crises, including across the Sahel, Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Mozambique.
Humanitarian crises are getting worse according to UN data published earlier this month, compounded by the pandemic, with 235 million people expected to be in need of urgent assistance next year compared to 175 million people at the start of 2020.
The UN’s Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)’s survey also shows that there are people in South Sudan and Yemen living in famine-like conditions today.
In September the Foreign Secretary announced a Call to Action to prevent famine, and appointed Nick Dyer as the UK Special Envoy on Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs to drive this effort. Today’s extra aid forms part of the UK’s continued leadership on addressing this global crisis.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
"Hundreds of millions of people living in the world’s largest humanitarian crises are struggling to survive, threatened by conflict, starvation and coronavirus.
This extra emergency UK aid will mean people can feed their families and prevent these crises from escalating into widespread famine. We hope to see other donors step up to the plate with some extra funding to prevent these global crises getting worse."
The extra UK aid announced today will help continue momentum and pressure other donors to step up with additional financing.
The UK has been sounding the alarm on this growing threat to millions of lives – with the dire situation in conflict and fragile states being exacerbated by economic recession, coronavirus and climate change. This is rapidly increasing the number of people in desperate need and more people than ever are going hungry.
The UK is combining its humanitarian expertise with its diplomatic power to build back stronger from coronavirus. We are using our seat on the UN Security Council to call for life-saving humanitarian access for everyone who needs it and hold countries to account on their international legal obligations to allow aid workers to operate impartially in conflict zones and support the protection of civilians.