Humanitarian needs are at an all-time high, according to the UN’s Global Humanitarian Overview. Looking back at 2021, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths noted that “Multiple famines loom. Individual lives and livelihoods, regional and national stability, and decades of development are at risk.”
2022 is no better. The scale of the challenges we are seeing today are no secret, said USAID Administrator Samantha Power in her opening statement at the OSCE Development Assistance Committee Peer Review. Ranging from the most urgent food crisis in recent memory, to climate change-caused floods in Pakistan, to a pandemic that still smolders around the world, these are issues no country can address alone.
“Until quite recently, marshaling the kind of global support needed to tackle them was in, it felt like, ever shorter supply.”
But the response to Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war against Ukraine proved this perception to be false. “Countries throughout the OECD came together to demonstrate the power of cooperation – rushing to support each other, strengthening and expanding our alliances, welcoming displaced peoples at their borders, and making dramatic – in some cases, what would have long before been unthinkable – changes to policies to support the people of Ukraine and strengthen European security,” said Administrator Power.
This spirit of unity and cooperation will serve the community of nations as they tackle other tough issues, starting with the current global food crisis. “The United States,… has provided more than $11 billion in humanitarian and development assistance for food security this year alone. Just as donor nations came together in 2016 amidst a previous drought in Somalia to prevent a famine, we need them to come together once more.”
Similarly, on matters of global health, we are seeing the first decline in life expectancy in over a century. Yet, the world failed to reach the $18 billion goal we needed to replenish the Global Fund.
On climate change, the United States is deeply concerned about the worsening impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable countries and communities as a result of a warming planet, and is committed to enhancing access to disaster finance, advancing early warning systems, and improving the global response to climate-related disasters.
“Our inspiring show of global cooperation cannot end in Ukraine. We have to marshal that same unity on nearly every issue we face,” said Administrator Power. “Without global cooperation, we are lost.”