UN chief deplores ‘chronic underfunding’ of humanitarian aid

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticised on Wednesday what he called chronic underfunding of aid across the globe despite growing humanitarian needs.

“Chronic underfunding and record levels of humanitarian need are stretching the system to the breaking point,” he told the Humanitarian Affairs Segment of the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

Only 20% of funds needed under the U.N. Global Humanitarian Appeal have been received halfway through 2023, he said.

“This is causing a crisis within a crisis,” Guterres added. “Without a solution to the funding crisis, further cuts are inevitable.”

On Monday international donors pledged close to $1.5 billion in aid to Sudan, which has been stricken by a grave humanitarian crisis that has driven some 2.2 million people from their homes.

Prior to the conference, a U.N. appeal for $2.57 billion for humanitarian support within Sudan this year was about 17% funded, and an appeal for nearly $500 million for refugees fleeing the country was just 15% funded.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Gareth Jones)