Humanitarian crises on the rise
Last year saw sharp rise in the number of new or deepening humanitarian crises – the highest annual number of declared emergencies in the last decade – according to a new report from the UIN refugee agency UNHCR.
The UNHCR’s ‘Emergency Preparedness and Response in 2023’ report says 43 emergency declarations to scale up support in 29 countries were made; and the agency dispatched 7.4 million relief items to serve up to 16.7 million people around the world.
From its seven global stockpiles, UNHCR delivered emergency supplies worth $53.5 million.
“Over the past year, we have seen a staggering increase in emergencies, with new crises unfolding and unresolved ones deteriorating, pushing the boundaries of our capacity to respond,” said UNHCR Director of External Relations Dominique Hyde.
“Whether sparked by conflict, human rights violations, natural disasters or extreme weather events, these emergencies have resulted in a surge of displacement, leaving countless individuals and families in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The scale of human suffering is unmeasurable and a stark reminder of the imperative for collective action and solidarity,” he said.
During 2023, UNHCR responded to multiple crises globally, aiding millions affected by earthquakes in Syria, Turkey and Afghanistan; a new conflict in Sudan and flare-ups of old conflicts in Karabakh and Somalia; a deteriorating crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, unprecedented mixed movements of refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and floods in Libya and the Horn of Africa.
“With the upward trajectory of emergencies in 2023 poised to persist in 2024 and the number of forcibly displaced people expected to rise to 130 million by the end of the year, the need for solidarity and support for people forced to flee has never been as important as it is today,” the report said.
The report says that in the past year, that has been a staggering increase in emergencies, with new crises unfolding and unresolved ones deteriorating, pushing the boundaries of UNHCR’s capacity to respond.
Key data in the report showed there were 114 million forcible displaced persons across the globe, an increase of 5.6 million over the year.
There were more than $US355 million worth of good delivered to people in need. This included 7.4 million core relief items, such as blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, solar lamps, buckets, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, jerry cans, tents and plastic rolls.
“Whether sparked by conflict, human rights violations, natural disasters or extreme weather events, these emergencies have resulted in a surge of displacement, leaving countless individuals and families in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and protection,” the report says.
“The scale of human suffering is unmeasurable and a stark reminder of the imperative for collective action and solidarity. In the face of such adversity, UNHCR’s commitment to serving those forced to flee remains unwavering, fuelled by the solidarity, generosity and cooperation of supporters, donors, and partners,” it says.
“As we embark on a new year, the challenges are immense as the potential for new humanitarian emergencies looms large. But hope and global commitment to share responsibility for refugees persist – and the Global Refugee Forum 2023, which concluded in December, proved a global moment of unity to work towards real solutions for people forced to flee.
Read the full report here: UNHCR Emergency Preparedness and Response in 2023 | Global Focus