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Rich countries underfunding humanitarian organisations, refugee rights NGO warns

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, humanitarian organisations have only received 27% of the funds needed so far this year

THE world’s richest countries have so far only provided 27 per cent of the funds needed this year for humanitarian organisations to do their work, a leading refugee charity warned today.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the United Nations donor countries have only contributed $7 billion (£5.5bn) of the $26bn (£20.5bn) that NGOs require to provide relief to around 94 million people across the world. 

“This is about $2bn (£1.5bn) less than the funding received halfway into 2018,” the NRC said. 

“The current lack of funding is alarming. Despite increasing needs, substantially less money is available for humanitarian assistance compared to the same period last year,” said NRC secretary-general Jan Egeland. 

“We are deeply concerned for those people already feeling the hard consequences of cuts.

“Let’s not be fooled into believing that the amount needed is too high or the job too difficult. It is a question of priorities. 

“The world’s total military expenditure has increased to a whopping $1.8 trillion (£1.4tn). The cost of closing the humanitarian funding gap and providing people with basic support equals to just about 1 per cent of this.”

“Today many people hit by conflict, drought and starvation do not receive any assistance at all. Mothers are skipping meals to provide their malnourished children with whatever little food is available. 

“Lack of proper latrines leads to the spread of waterborne diseases like cholera. And treatable illnesses are claiming lives due to the lack of medical support. 

“All of this is fully preventable if there was political will,” Mr Egeland emphasised.

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