UN humanitarian agency OCHA has estimated that 274 million people worldwide would need some form of emergency assistance next year, up 17 percent on an already record-breaking 2021.
The United Nations has warned that the need for humanitarian aid is skyrocketing worldwide, as the pandemic continues to rage, and climate change and conflicts push more people to the brink of famine.
One in 29 people will need help next year, the UN's humanitarian agency OCHA found in its Global Humanitarian Overview report published on Wednesday.
This marks a 250-percent-increase since 2015 when one in 95 needed assistance.
OCHA estimated that 274 million people worldwide would need some form of emergency assistance in 2022, up 17 percent on an already record-breaking 2021.
The number of people in need "has never been as high as this", UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told reporters.
The annual appeal said that providing aid to the 183 million most vulnerable people across 63 countries next year would require $41 billion, up from the $35 billion requested for 2021.
Covid-19, climate crisis
The report pointed out that the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic along with measures aimed at reining in the virus, had pushed some 20 million more people into extreme poverty.
It has also devastated health systems worldwide, with testing for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria plunging 43 percent, and 23 million children worldwide missing basic childhood vaccines in 2021.
The report also warned that by 2050 as many as 216 million people could be forced to move within their own countries due to the effects of global warming.
"Without sustained and immediate action, 2022 could be catastrophic," it cautioned, pointing out that as many as 811 million people worldwide are already undernourished.
Heavy toll of conflicts
The appeal warned that more than 24 million people — 65 percent of the Afghan population — needed aid, including around nine million people expected to be on the brink of famine.
It requested $4.5 billion to help the 22 million most vulnerable people in Afghanistan in 2022 — tripling its ask from a year ago.
And the appeal highlighted swelling needs in Ethiopia, where thousands have died and millions have been displaced since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into the northern Tigray region more than a year ago.
Griffiths said the situation in Ethiopia was perhaps the world's "most alarming" with an estimated 26 million people requiring humanitarian aid.