Over 300 million people across the world will require humanitarian assistance next year as the global food crisis keeps worsening, the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Report released last week has shown.
The most affected regions are East and Southern Africa.
“One in every 23 people now needs humanitarian assistance,” says the report.
“In 2023, a record 339 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection – a significant increase from 274 million people at the beginning of 2022. The UN and partner organisations aim to assist 230 million people most in need across 68 countries, which will require $51.5 billion.”
According to the report, expanding global humanitarian needs, rising operational costs, commodity prices, and high inflation in 2023 contribute to a significant rise in requirements.
“For example, the World Food Programme’s monthly food procurement costs are now 44 per cent higher than before the pandemic,” says the report.
“East and Southern Africa have the largest number of people in need (76.8 million). This year there are ten countries and four regional plans with requirements of more than $1 billion each.”
In Ethiopia, the UN report says the worsening drought and impact of conflict and violence in parts of the country and resulting waves of displacement mean that 28.6 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2023.
“While the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement in November 2022 is a promising step to scale up humanitarian assistance, the humanitarian situation is not expected to stabilize in 2023 due to yet more forecasts of poor rainfall and the ongoing effects of conflict and violence,” says the report.
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo has its largest request to date, with a total of $2.3 billion in 2023 — a 20 per cent rise compared to 2022. Net increases in prices are a challenging reality across the country — the high price of fuel has made it more expensive to reach vulnerable people in remote areas, and food and commodity prices at local markets have rocketed, especially for imported products. By the end of 2022, 6.2 million people received assistance in the country.”
In Mozambique, the number of people in need has increased by a third, according to the report.
“Conflict in Cabo Delgado is driving forced displacement and placing enormous levels of strain on the country’s host communities,” says the report.
“Humanitarian partners have provided life-sustaining assistance to 1.4 million people in 2022, including malnutrition treatment, food assistance, protection services and access to safe drinking water.”
The World Food Programme (WFP) says 3,8 million people in rural Zimbabwe will require additional food assistance by 2023.