More than 100 million people in need of humanitarian assistance

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A Syrian refugee registers with a UNHCR staff member in Lebanon to receive assistance. File Photo: UNHCR/M.Abu Asaker

More than 100 million people worldwide are in need of humanitarian assistance — a "staggering" number, according to the UN's top humanitarian official.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O'Brien was speaking at the opening of the global consultations ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit.

The Summit is due to take place next May in Istanbul, Turkey.

Veronica Reeves has more.

If all those in need of humanitarian assistance were contained in one country, it would be the 12th largest nation in the world. That's according to the UN's humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, speaking in Geneva, Switzerland at the global consultations on the planned World Humanitarian Summit.

"Humanitarian action is reaching more people, in more places than ever before. Yet the number of people in need continues to escalate. Year on year, the scale and the cost of meeting humanitarian needs is outpacing our capacity to respond."

Mr O'Brien said natural disasters are taking a profound toll on people and communities around the globe, with estimated economic losses of about US$300 billion a year.

Still, the humanitarian chief said that armed conflict is by far the greatest driver of prolonged humanitarian need around the world. The human cost, he said, is tremendous, with more than 60 million displaced people around the world due to violence and persecution.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 1’04″


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