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Foreign Affairs | International community response to global humanitarian crises

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which the international community continues to target areas of starvation or famine throughout the world; the efforts that are being made to provide such basic facilities as water; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which the international community continues to ensure the availability of aid to avert hunger, starvation and famine in the various countries suffering from such deprivation; if a particular organised plan is in existence to target the areas of greatest need within a specified time; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


This year to date, the international community has provided over €28 billion in response to humanitarian crises across the globe. This is a record high for this time of year and it is clear the amount provided will surpass last year’s total of €29.4 billion by the end of the year.

The funding targets countries facing high levels of food insecurity, malnutrition and famine. Up to date data on food insecurity from the World Food Programme enables the international community to prioritise hunger hotspots. In 2022 €2.2 billion has been allocated to Yemen, €1.6 billion to Ethiopia, €1.1 billion to Somalia, €0.9 billion to South Sudan and €0.6 billion to Nigeria.

The UN leads the development of coordinated Humanitarian Response Plans for affecting countries, which identify the type of humanitarian assistance required and the communities most in need. Each plan sets out the immediate requirements for essential services such as water and sanitation, health, food and nutrition and education. This ensures that the international community responds in a timely, coordinated and targeted manner.

Despite record levels of humanitarian funding, the gap between available funding and needs continues to grow. The UN provides monthly updates on the global humanitarian response. The latest update at the end of October showed a funding shortfall of some €22.5 billion and appealed to the international community for additional support.

Ireland has been a long-standing champion of efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition, including through advocacy for the sustainable transformation of food systems. Our humanitarian support is focused on countries with high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. We recently announced an additional €30 million to address hunger and impending famine in the Horn of Africa, bringing to over €100 million our total assistance to the region this year.

Ireland’s overall humanitarian spend in 2022 will exceed our 2021 spend of €228 million. This continues a trend of increased humanitarian expenditure in response to escalating humanitarian needs.

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