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News > Switzerland

New UN Humanitarian Overview Gives Gloomy Outlook for 2023

  • People ride motorbikes through flood water in Medan, Indonesia, Nov. 19, 2022.

    People ride motorbikes through flood water in Medan, Indonesia, Nov. 19, 2022. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 1 December 2022

It will take at least 132 years to achieve global gender parity given that 388 million women and girls are currently living in extreme poverty.

On Thursday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launched the 2023 Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO), which paints a stark picture of what lies ahead.


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At least 222 million people in 53 countries will face acute food insecurity by the end of 2022, with 45 million people in 37 countries risking starvation. Public health is still under pressure due to COVID-19, monkeypox, vector-borne diseases and outbreaks of Ebola and cholera, and at the same time climate change is driving up risks and vulnerability.

"By the end of the century, extreme heat could claim as many lives as cancer," the GHO says, adding that it will take 132 years to achieve global gender parity, and globally 388 million women and girls are living in extreme poverty.

“The fact that one in every 23 people around the world is in urgent need of humanitarian aid must be an immediate wake-up call," Oxfam's Global Humanitarian Director Marta Valdes Garcia said in reaction to the 2023 GHO.

As a result of various crises, next year will set another record for humanitarian relief requirements, with 339 million people in need of assistance in 68 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared to last year.

The estimated cost of the humanitarian response going into 2023 is US$51.5 billion, a 25 percent increase compared to the beginning of 2022, the report says.

"Humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year's extreme events are spilling into 2023," said Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

"For people on the brink, this US$51.5 billion appeal is a lifeline. For the international community, it is a strategy to make good on the pledge to leave no one behind," he added.

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