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Humanitarian key facts

Oxfam supported cash-for-asset recovery project to clear fallen coconut trees in Surok, Eastern Samar province (2014). Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

Today, there are 128.6 million people in humanitarian crisis, roughly the same as the total population of the UK and France combined. In other words there are 128.6 million people facing threats to their health, safety and well-being from conflict, famine, drought and other disasters, and from the resulting refugee crises where tens of millions have been forced to flee their homes. 

Updated August 2017

This includes:

And there are hundreds of millions more in humanitarian need outside the crisis areas. Around the world, 663 million people don't have access to clean water, 2.4 billion don't have access to improved sanitation, and 946 million people defecate in the open. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone this lack of clean water and sanitation means 500 children die every day. If water management remains unchanged there will be a 40% shortfall in the global water supply by 2030.

And yet in 2016, the world's governments gave only 57% of what the UN asked for to meet humanitarian appeals. Crucial humanitarian appeals, including for Haiti, Syria and Afghanistan, received less than half of what they required.

Missing money

The missing money for all appeals represents $9.5 billion that was never provided to fund vital food, water and other humanitarian aid. This amount is less than what a single country currently spends on hosting a single football world cup, signifying that the lack of funding is dictated by politics, rather than necessity.

Oxfam delivers aid and campaigns for the rights of those in need. It delivers water, sanitation, emergency food and livelihoods support and strives to ensure civilians are protected from violence. Alongside this it campaigns for the rights of those affected to be respected, their needs met, and for the reasons that they are in crisis in the first place to be addressed - as part of a rights-based approach to overcoming poverty, suffering and injustice. Despite funding constraints, in 2016 humanitarian agencies saved, protected and supported more people than ever before.

In 2015-16, Oxfam supported around 10.9 million people in humanitarian crisis.