Photo By: Mohammad Rakibul Hasan is licensed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.
Choose to Invest F.Y. 2023
The United States provides humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable and hardest to reach communities.
The United States provides humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable and hardest to reach communities to save lives and alleviate suffering. As the effects of COVID-19, protracted crises, impacts of natural hazards, and new conflicts all intensify, 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022.
This past year was one of challenge and achievement. Though the humanitarian system proved strong and resilient, needs have continued to outstrip existing resources. Previous development and humanitarian gains in employment, food security, education, and health care have been undone. 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2020, more than double the previous decade. Extreme poverty is rising, and the World Bank reports that upwards of 150 million more people are being pushed into poverty due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, increasing frequency and intensity of natural hazards, such as droughts and hurricanes, are compounding ongoing humanitarian crises. Environmental hazards are more frequent and powerful. The United Nations projects that by 2050, upwards of 216 million people will be internally displaced within their country due to the effects of climate change. Extreme weather events have driven nearly 20 million people into severe food insecurity in 15 countries, and globally, up to 811 million people are undernourished. Climate change not only requires investments in adaptation and renewable energy; it demands a more holistic relationship between development and humanitarian actors. Humanitarian solutions can mitigate impacts, but proper solutions require development and governance leadership.
Investing in America’s capacity to effectively support principled humanitarian action addresses the acute rise of need over the past year—which has disproportionately impacted marginalized populations. In part, these funds provide basic life-saving aid to displaced people as well as those affected by natural hazards and conflict; assistance for resettlement efforts; disaster risk reduction; and emergency food and market-based assistance.
Helping people prepare for and respond to humanitarian crises is not only in America’s interests, it is the right thing to do. A more proactive humanitarian response framework slows the compounding effects of natural hazards, economic downturns, and conflict while alleviating human suffering by offering critical support to people in need of lifesaving aid.
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