Global humanitarian needs highest on record – Oxfam Canada reaction

December 1, 2022

Today’s UN 2023 Global Humanitarian Overview report reveals that 339 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid – the highest caseload in history. One in every 23 people around the world is now in urgent need of humanitarian aid, the equivalent of nearly nine times the population of Canada. This news must be an immediate wake-up call.

Climate change, conflict, the economic fallouts of COVID-19, and unprecedented food and energy price inflation are creating the perfect storm for the world’s poorest people.

“It is tragic to see the world moving backwards in the fight to end global poverty, hunger and gender inequality,” said Brittany Lambert, Oxfam Canada’s Women’s Rights Policy Specialist. “The funding needed to address today’s record needs is CAD $69.1 billion – 25 per cent more than last year’s estimate. Humanitarian needs are outstripping the aid system’s ability to respond.”

Oxfam Canada is deeply concerned about the global hunger crisis currently unfolding. Today’s UN report confirms that starvation is a real risk for 45 million people in 37 countries. There is a strong connection between rising hunger and accelerating climate change. Recent research by Oxfam showed that extreme hunger has more than doubled in the world’s worst climate hotspots over past six years.

Oxfam is also raising the alarm about what this bleak humanitarian outlook means for women around the world. “Women suffer most during humanitarian disasters due to long-standing inequalities that undermine their ability to cope,” said Lambert. “Women’s rights and progress towards gender equity are threatened with every disaster.”

The deteriorating global situation has set back the goal of achieving gender parity by a whole generation. The estimated time needed to close the global gender gap, previously 99 years, is now 132 years. “Canada’s feminist aid is needed more than ever,” said Lambert, “but funding levels must increase drastically to meet the rising needs.”

Looking forward, we must examine the global systems that are leading to such rapidly growing inequality in the first place. “Our global financial system is benefitting the few at the cost of the many,” said Lambert. “Every day, we see new food and energy billionaires. Yet we can’t mobilize the funding needed to stop people from people starving. There is more than enough money in the world to address today’s humanitarian needs. What is dismally lacking is political courage.”

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Notes to the editor:
  • Since 2016 Oxfam, together with 60+ INGOs, UN Agencies and donor governments, has committed to putting communities and local leaders at the heart of humanitarian responses and to making the humanitarian system more efficient and effective. Together with 50+ NGOs we have signed this joint statement in reaction to this GHO report. Read HERE
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Paula Baker
Media Relations
(613) 240-3047

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