World + 20 more

Global Humanitarian Appeal aims to reach 93.6 million people with assistance in 2019

News and Press Release
Originally published

Crises affect more people, for longer, and conflict remains the main driver of humanitarian and protection needs. The Global Humanitarian Overview presents detailed, prioritized and costed plans for how the United Nations and partner organizations will respond worldwide

(Geneva, 4 December 2018) – The world is witnessing extremely high levels of humanitarian need driven primarily by armed conflicts that generate enormous suffering and displacement for years on end.

In 2019, nearly 132 million people across the world will need humanitarian assistance. The United Nations and its partner organizations aim to assist 93.6 million of the most vulnerable with food, shelter, health care, emergency education, protection and other basic assistance, according the Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 (GHO) presented by Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock today in Geneva.

Funding requirements for 2019 amount to US$21.9 billion. This figure does not include the financial requirements for Syria, which will be confirmed upon finalization of the 2019 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan. It is expected that total requirements, including those for Syria, will be comparable to current requirements of around $25 billion. Donors have this year provided a record $13.9 billion, as of mid-November, about 10 per cent more than at the same time in 2017, which was itself a record.

“Donors are increasingly generous, yet every year there is a gap between what is required and the funding received,” Mr. Lowcock said. “Early action and innovative financing, such as risk insurance and contingency financing, can help close this gap. Improved coordination with development programming in 2019 can also help reduce overall future requirements by tackling the root causes of humanitarian need and strengthening community resilience.”

Over recent years, the average length of Humanitarian Response Plans – the individual country plans which combined make up the annual GHO – have increased from 5.2 years in 2014 to 9.3 years in 2018. The numbers of people affected, and the financial requirements to meet their urgent needs, have also gone up year after year. Large, protracted crises have commanded the majority of resources. Between 2014 and 2018, the crises in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Syria alone accounted for 55 per cent of all funding requested and received.

Natural disasters and climate change also have a high human cost. Disasters affect 350 million people on average each year and cause billions of dollars in damage.

The humanitarian community continues to deliver, more and better, and has reached tens of millions of people in 41 countries in 2018 through coordinated response plans. For example, every month humanitarians reach 8 million Yemenis with food assistance and 5.4 million people in Syria with supplies, medical assistance and protection. This is happening even as threats to the safety of aid workers are on the rise. “The humanitarian system today is more effective than ever. We are better at identifying different groups’ specific needs and vulnerabilities and quicker to respond when disaster strikes. Response plans are now more inclusive, comprehensive, innovative and prioritized,” Mr. Lowcock said.

Affected people themselves have informed the coordinated response plans in face-to-face interviews and assessments are carried out at local community level. In addition, dedicated networks are active in at least 20 countries to protect people from sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 and World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2018 documents are available online Additional resources for media on the same page include photos, film with script, b-roll/shotlist and social media videos.

Note to Editors

The Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 is based on Humanitarian Response Plans in Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria [excluding financial requirements], Ukraine and Yemen.

The overall financial request also includes people covered in the Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Response Plan and the Venezuela Outflow appeal.

Other response plans are presented but not included in the overall financial requirements. They include Regional Refugee Response Plans for Burundi, DRC, Nigeria and South Sudan and country plans for Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

The World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2018 focuses on trends and opportunities in humanitarian action. It is part of OCHA's efforts to improve data and analysis on humanitarian situations worldwide and build a humanitarian data community.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit