The United Nations (UN) has more than tripled the size of its aid appeal to help the most vulnerable countries through the coronavirus pandemic, as it warned of an impending rise in conflict, hunger and poverty.
The organisation announced a $2bn fundraise in March – now, it hopes to raise $6.7bn, it said today. It has raised around $1bn so far, which has been spent on hand-washing stations in refugee camps, distributing masks and gloves, and training 1.7 million people on virus protection.
The pandemic is expected to peak in poorer countries later this year, but the UN said there is “already evidence of incomes plummeting and jobs disappearing, food supplies failing and prices soaring, and children missing vaccinations and meals”.
Mark Lowcock, the UN’s top humanitarian aid official, said that “unless we take action now, we should be prepared for a significant rise in conflict, hunger and poverty. The spectre of multiple famines loom.”