From the continuing wars in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen to the hunger crisis in Madagascar and South Sudan, and the cyclone and earthquake in Haiti, 2021 was a year of intensifying humanitarian need.
Throughout the year, as in every year since OCHA was created, we continued to serve people in need by leveraging our role as resource mobilizers, convenors, first responders, coordinators, advocates and access negotiators — the whole gamut of capacities that support OCHA’s unique mandate.
Prolonged conflicts, the mounting impacts of the climate emergency and the lingering socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that more people were dependent on aid for their basic needs. According to the Global Humanitarian Overview — a UN-coordinated annual assessment of global need — 274 million people needed humanitarian assistance by December 2021, up from 235 million in January.
Our donors responded generously, and OCHA was able to mobilize US$20.1 billion through UN-coordinated humanitarian appeals — a 6.4 per cent increase from the $18.9 billion raised in 2020.
Thanks to this support, the UN and partners reached 107 million people with some form of assistance. This included food aid for tens of millions of people across dozens of countries, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria and Yemen; safe water for 34 million people; and support for 18 million people to keep their livelihoods going.
Here are just 10 highlights of the year:
These and many other efforts throughout the year succeeded because of our donors’ generosity. Thank you for your continued commitment to humanitarian action, and to OCHA
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator