Photo by Hkun Lat submitted in the 2018 InterAction Photo Contest.
Choose to Invest F.Y. 2024
The United States provides humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable and hard to reach communities.
With protracted crises, the impacts of climate change, and new conflicts estimated to cause 339 million people to need humanitarian assistance in 2023, the United States must continue providing humanitarian aid that saves lives and alleviates suffering in the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities.
This past year was one of both challenge and achievement. Though the humanitarian system proved resilient, needs continued to outstrip existing resources. Previous development and humanitarian gains in employment, food security, education, and health care have unraveled. Extreme poverty is also rising, with the World Bank reporting that upwards of 150 million people were pushed into poverty due to the pandemic. This continued regression came on the heels of 2021, when the number of people forced to flee their homes had reached 89.3 million, more than double the previous decade.
Meanwhile, the effects of climate change are compounding ongoing humanitarian crises, with climate change hazards becoming more frequent and powerful. Extreme weather events have already driven nearly 20 million people into severe food insecurity in 15 countries, and up to 811 million people are undernourished globally. The United Nations projects that by 2050, upwards of 216 million people will be internally displaced due to the effects of climate change. Not only do adaptation measures and renewable energy require sustained investment—they demand a more holistic relationship between development and humanitarian actors. Humanitarian solutions can mitigate impacts, but real 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. These funds provide basic, life-saving aid to internally displaced people and refugees including those affected by natural hazards and conflict. They also support 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’s 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. Investing in stabilization efforts abroad that achieve these goals will multiply U.S. strength, improving lives globally and creating a safer America at home.
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