274 Million People Are In Immediate Need Of Humanitarian Aid

Karla Borg

As a consequence of ongoing complex emergencies worldwide, 274 million people* are in immediate need of humanitarian aid. Yet we rarely - if ever - see any media coverage of most of these situations.

Disclaimer: Statistics and facts in this article are from May 2022

source: global humanitarian overview

What is humanitarian aid?

Humanitarian aid is assistance that’s used to relieve human suffering during emergency situations.

Examples of humanitarian aid:

- Food rations

- Medical care

- Safe water, filters and water systems

- Temporary shelter such as tents and plastic sheeting

- Sanitation systems and education

- Emergency supply kits ex. distributed to survivors of an earthquake

- Screening and treating children for malnutrition

- Cash payments to help people survive crises in the short term

What are complex emergencies?

Over the past decades, emergencies have become longer-lasting and therefore harder to address. The longer an emergency lasts, the more complex it becomes and often government services have broken down and is unable to stabilise the situation. These situations are called “complex emergencies.”

Complex emergencies mean humanitarian organizations are missing a direct access to contribute with aid, and people often can’t access the help they need to recover. Organizations also have to work much harder to find what and where the needs are, and often struggle to raise funding as crises drag on.

Sadly, this is becoming the rule versus the exception.

Read more: Afghanistan: The Crisis the News Conveniently Forgot

Media coverage of humanitarian crises & complex emergencies

Many of these humanitarian crisis has hardly ever appeared in our news feeds.

Our news feeds tend to cover a higher percentage of events from the US and Europe than Asia, Africa or the Middle East put together — and there is a much more detailed and nuanced analysis of such events in all relevant mainstream media. Anything outside this euro-centric bubble is deemed uninteresting and less worthy of attention and therefore be confined to a surface-level analysis through a western lens.

What mainstream media outlets and journalists often forget is the power they hold in the dissemination of information and the formation of outlooks in society. We are what we consume. If consuming western media outlets is what skews our perspective of the world, then it is time to straighten and widen that perspective for the benefit of humanity.

Read more: Ukraine: Refugees, Reporting & Redefining Equality

Sources: Concern Worldwide US (concernusa.org) Human Rights Careers (humanrightscareers.com) Global Humanitarian Overview (gho.unocha.org)

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