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Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2022

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Executive summary

In 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic continued to overlay other pre-existing and emerging crisis risks, driving need and complicating response. Following the rapid rise in demand for humanitarian assistance in 2020, needs remained at historically high levels in 2021. Growth in the volume of total international humanitarian assistance has stalled, with only slightly more provided in 2021 than in 2018.

Despite the rapidly evolving context of humanitarian need driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing impacts of climate change and emergent conflict (for instance, in Afghanistan in 2021 and in Ukraine in 2022), the picture of humanitarian financing has altered remarkably little in recent years. The Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2022 highlights the key trends in how much assistance there is, who is providing it and how. It re-enforces the imperative for change to the sources, structures and methods of humanitarian funding, and to the manner and extent of engagement with and targeting of wider sources of finance – developmental and climate-related – to countries vulnerable to and experiencing crisis.

In 2021, Covid-19 overlaid other pre-existing and emerging crisis risks as humanitarian needs remained at historically high levels.

  • In 2021, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance increased.
    An estimated 306.0 million people were assessed to be in need, 90.4 million more than in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic. Half of those requiring humanitarian support (155.9 million) lived in just nine countries.

  • Long-term crisis is increasingly normal. The number of countries experiencing protracted crisis rose to 36 in 2021. These countries were home to three quarters (74%) of all people in need.

  • Those experiencing humanitarian crisis have been left behind in efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The average Covid vaccination rate is 26% for countries experiencing protracted crisis, compared to 64% for countries without a UN-coordinated humanitarian appeal.

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