Humanitarian Aid

A man shakes hands with the woman lined up, surrounded by goats.

As the war in Ukraine pushes food, fuel and fertilizer prices toward record levels putting food security in many of the world’s poorest countries at risk, IFAD launches a Crisis Response Initiative to ensure that small-scale farmers in high-risk countries can produce food over the next few months to feed their families and communities while reducing the threat to future harvests. IFAD is calling on its Member States to contribute to the significant resources required to cover all 22 countries listed in the Initiative as priorities based on measures of need.

A building destroyed seen from a crack in a black foreground.

The war in Ukraine is inflicting immense human suffering and devastating communities. UNDP teams are on the ground, working in partnership with the Government of Ukraine to save lives and support relief efforts. But the needs are rapidly increasing. The government says at least US$100 billion of buildings, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools have been destroyed. The war has caused half the country’s businesses to shut completely, while the other half are struggling. A prolonged conflict could push nine out of 10 of Ukrainians into poverty or near poverty.

a woman carrying a baby on her back kicks a container of water

People in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands are facing one of the most acute droughts they have ever endured. The dire situation—also ravaging communities across Ethiopia and Somalia—is forcing families to take desperate measures to survive. Hunger, displacement, disease outbreaks, conflict over scarce resources, and increased abuse and exploitation of children and women are just some of the consequences of this fast-deteriorating humanitarian crisis. UN OCHA in Kenya ramps up their response to support people affected by the drought.

an older woman looks through photo albums

Valentina Ejova breathed a sigh of relief only when she crossed the border. In both Ukraine and neighbouring countries hosting refugees, UNFPA is distributing dignity kits among other services.

A girl and goats inside her temporary shelter

For the third year in a row, Yemen is the country needing the most humanitarian funding support in the world. Of the 20.7 million people needing assistance, 12 million are in acute need. Though last year’s $100 million humanitarian appeal was only half funded, UNFPA reached nearly 2.8 million people with reproductive health services and emergency relief.  Without additional funding, nearly 1.3 million women will be left without access to reproductive health care and protection and psychosocial support.

Portrait of a girl in front of parked buses

On 8 March, the Moldovan and Romanian Governments, with support from IOM and UNHCR set up a fast-track transfer to support the safe land movement of those fleeing Ukraine, including third-country nationals. Several buses travel each day from Romania to Palanca – Moldova’s easternmost point located at 2.5 km from Ukraine – to pick up refugees. When they arrive from Ukraine, refugees are greeted by authorities, humanitarian organizations, and volunteers, all eager to assist those newly arrived.

woman with baby walks amid animal carcasses

The Luuq district, located in the Federal Member State of Jubaland’s Gedo region, is intersected by the Juba River. For more than three months now, the river’s waters have steadily dwindled, leaving only brown puddles.With decades of conflict, recurrent climate shocks and disease outbreaks, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the humanitarian situation in Somalia was already grave. Even before the current drought, an estimated 7.7 million Somalis were in need of humanitarian assistance and protection this year – up 30 per cent from a year ago. The situation has deteriorated, with the current drought wiping out crop harvests and  livestock dying due to a lack of water and pasture, depriving many pastoral communities of their only source of income.  Some 4.5 million Somalis are directly affected by the drought, and about 700,000 people have been displaced. 

smiling little girl in front of meal

Six international football stars – including the first Syrian refugee to play in the German Bundesliga – are joining forces with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to raise funds for people fleeing conflict in Ukraine. The video appeal includes players from across the UK’s Premier League, the Bundesliga and the French Division 1 Féminine, accompanies by music from WFP Goodwill Ambassador The Weeknd. UNHCR and WFP’s global #football4ukraine appeal comes at a time when almost a quarter of Ukraine’s population – more than 10 million people have been forced from their homes. WFP is building a massive operation to provide food for civilians trapped in major cities and assist others impacted by the conflict who have fled to neighbouring countries. This little girl is enjoying mealtime at a school serving as a reception centre for Ukrainian refugees in Moldova.

Collage of two portraits of a young woman and old man in black and white.

The persistent humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is unparalleled, with more than 24.4 million people requiring humanitarian assistance to survive. As the consequences of inaction will be swift and severe to reverse, frontline international and Afghan partners continue to deliver humanitarian aid under some of the most challenging circumstances. On Thursday, 31 March 2022, a High-level Pledging Event will be convened online at the ministerial level by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, joined by Member State co-hosts including the Governments of Qatar, the United Kingdom and Germany.

11 years after the violent suppression of peaceful, popular demonstrations, Syria is still mired in war. More than 14 million civilians need humanitarian assistance with 12 million displaced, including over 6 million outside the country. The UN reports that at least 350,000 have been killed. Meanwhile, tens of thousands are detained, tortured, missing, or disappeared. Many rounds of peace talks have been attempted, and the UN Special Envoy for Syria is working with a committee to draw up a new constitution leading to free and fair elections supervised by the UN. But progress has been elusive.

Internally displaced persons on their way to seek free medical services from a mobile health team in Kandahar.

Internally displaced persons rely on mobile health teams deployed by UNFPA to remote areas of Afghanistan, where health services have been severely disrupted. Even before recent upheavals, Afghanistan had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the Asia and Pacific region at 638 deaths per 100,000 live births. Without additional funding, this number could soar to 963 deaths between now and 2025. In its 2022 appeal, UNFPA seeks to raise $251.9 million to continue and expand services to address the reproductive health needs of 9.3 million Afghans.

A girl sits next to a WFP food sack.

31,000 people face famine-like conditions in Yemen – by June 161,000 people will be at risk. WFP, FAO and UNICEF together sound the alarm - as WFP calls for US$1.97 billion to save lives. 

The Weeknd and David Beasley (left), The Weeknd backlit (right)

Along with $500,000, The Weeknd is also donating $1 to WFP from each ticket sold for his forthcoming After Hours Til Dawn tour, to pull 44 million people back from the brink of famine.

mother and newborn baby

At the Starobilsk Multidisciplinary Hospital in Luhansk, women are giving birth in the basement with artillery shelling nearby. This woman had a baby boy on a day the hospital issued three bomb alerts. There are an estimated 265,000 pregnant women in Ukraine, 80,000 of whom will deliver in the next three months. UNFPA remains on the ground and is preparing to increase operational capacity to deliver life-saving sexual and reproductive health services and supplies. 

Ukrainians with children fleeing to Poland.

In response to the Russian military offensive in Ukraine which began on 24 February, the United Nations and humanitarian partners are scaling up the delivery of life saving support to people affected by the conflict. Guided by the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, humanity and independence, UN staff are working on both sides of the contact line, to provide humanitarian relief to people in need, particularly women, children, elderly people and those with disabilities. The United Nations launched coordinated humanitarian appeals. Follow the latest developments in the Security Council and General Assembly.