Skip to main content

One person in 23 will need humanitarian assistance in 2023

Press release1 December 2022
Rows of buckets, water jugs and foods
In response to catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, Concern Worldwide is distributing cash, emergency shelters, bedding kits, winterization kits, hygiene kits to 500,000 beneficiaries in Sindh and Balochistan. Photo: Concern Worldwide

The last year has been devastating for vulnerable and poorer communities around the world with a 24% increase in the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance.

One person in every 23, a total of 339 million people globally, will require some form of assistance in 2023. The Irish development and humanitarian organisation, Concern Worldwide, is working in eight of the 10 worst affected countries: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine.

“A number of factors have contributed to the rise in humanitarian needs; the climate crisis, armed conflict, the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, all compounded by the impacts of the conflict in Ukraine on the global economy which has caused inflation and unstable food prices,” said Carol Morgan, International Programmes Director with Concern.

“It’s people living in the world’s poorest countries that are hit hardest. We see this in the communities Concern works in, they are struggling to afford even the most of basic necessities, and many of their coping mechanisms are exhausted. The world must redouble its efforts to support communities living in extreme poverty.”

The harrowing statistics are contained in the United Nations’ Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO), launched today (Thursday 1st December). The GHO is an annual assessment of humanitarian needs and the resources required to address them based on data from international organisations and global, national, and local NGOs.

It says US$51.5 billion is needed to fund the most urgent needs of 230 million people in 68 countries in 2023, 25% more than this time last year

Costs for humanitarian responses has increased substantially, with higher operational costs and commodity prices putting further pressure on limited budgets.

Although the 2022 GHO funding appeal received the highest level of funding ever, it is expected it will be only half-funded by the end of the year. The gap between requirements and funding is greater than ever and this gap has seen millions of people affected by climate crisis and conflict not getting the support they needed.

In Afghanistan, Concern has scaled up operations to reach communities facing extreme hunger and to support Afghan partners responding to several serious earthquakes. Through our emergency and development projects, we have reached 216,019 people in 2022. However, in what is one of the most complex emergency settings in the world, millions of people across the country are on the verge of famine. Concern staff members have witnessed parents at the end of their tether selling their children out of sheer desperation, just to put food on the table. A lack of funding has meant that millions of food insecure people did not get support ahead of the lean season.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the majority (73%) of the population live below the US$1.90 poverty line, and DRC is ranked 176 out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index. The humanitarian context in 2022 has continued to deteriorate due to armed conflict and natural disasters with over 260,000 people being displaced since March this year. Concern is providing cash payments to displaced households to purchase food and essential supplies for their families. 

Next year’s GHO appeal will set a new record for the highest ever requirements, demonstrating how conflict, climate change, COVID-19, and heightened costs are pushing more and more people into humanitarian emergency.


For further information please contact Eilis Staunton, Media Relations officer with Concern Worldwide on 085 872 0720 or

Share your concern