UK pledges urgent life-saving aid for families hit by coronavirus and hunger around the world

The UK is releasing new emergency aid to help over 1.3 million vulnerable people in some of the world’s most dangerous places, who face daily threats of starvation, conflict and coronavirus.

Life-saving food, nutrition, water, childhood vaccinations and shelter will urgently help families caught in some of the largest humanitarian crises, including across the Sahel, Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Mozambique.

Refugees queue for food distribution in Um Rakuba refugee settlement in Eastern Sudan.

Humanitarian crises are getting worse according to UN data published earlier this month, compounded by the pandemic, with 235 million people expected to be in need of urgent assistance next year compared to 175 million people at the start of 2020.

The UN’s Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)’s survey also shows that there are people in South Sudan and Yemen living in famine-like conditions today.

In September the Foreign Secretary announced a Call to Action to prevent famine, and appointed Nick Dyer as the UK Special Envoy on Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs to drive this effort. Today’s extra aid forms part of the UK’s continued leadership on addressing this global crisis.

Bags of Salt with UK aid written in them in Hashaba (also known as Village 8) refugee settlement for refugees from Ethiopia in South Eastern Sudan on 4th of November 2020

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “Hundreds of millions of people living in the world’s largest humanitarian crises are struggling to survive, threatened by conflict, starvation and coronavirus.

 “This extra emergency UK aid will mean people can feed their families and prevent these crises from escalating into widespread famine. We hope to see other donors step up to the plate with some extra funding to prevent these global crises getting worse.”

 The extra UK aid announced recently, it will help continue momentum and pressure other donors to step up with additional financing.

The UK has been sounding the alarm on this growing threat to millions of lives – with the dire situation in conflict and fragile states being exacerbated by economic recession, coronavirus and climate change. This is rapidly increasing the number of people in desperate need and more people than ever are going hungry.

The UK is combining its humanitarian expertise with its diplomatic power to build back stronger from coronavirus. We are using our seat on the UN Security Council to call for life-saving humanitarian access for everyone who needs it and hold countries to account on their international legal obligations to allow aid workers to operate impartially in conflict zones and support the protection of civilians.


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