BERLIN (AP) -- The United Nations said Thursday that it is asking member states for a record $51.5 billion in aid funding for next year, as disasters and the ongoing war in Ukraine drive up humanitarian needs worldwide.
The global body's humanitarian office said the funds are needed to help 339 million people in 69 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared with the same time last year. The appeal is a 25% increase on that made for 2022, it said.
"Humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year's extreme events are spilling into 2023," said the U.N.'s emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths.
He cited droughts in the Horn of Africa, floods in Pakistan and the conflict in Ukraine, which have pushed the number of displaced people worldwide above 100 million.
"All of this on top of the devastation left by the pandemic among the world's poorest," said Griffiths. "For people on the brink, this appeal is a lifeline. For the international community, it is a strategy to make good on the pledge to leave no one behind."
The U.N.'s annual Global Humanitarian Overview combines funding required by the global body and numerous nongovernmental organizations
Current funding provided by member states is less than half of what's needed, forcing aid groups and agencies "to decide who to target with the funds available," the U.N. humanitarian office said.