Industry offers help as UN appeals for record humanitarian aid  

United Nations building with flags flying

Industry responds to $41bn appeal, offering its expertise and capacity to the UN and multi & bilateral development banks to provide a lasting response to dramatic escalation of famine, political turmoil and climate damage.  

The United Nations’ humanitarian agency OCHA has appealed for a record $41bn to help 183 million people in need of life-saving assistance. This is double the number in need of help just four years ago and reflects a trend towards greater instability and climate damage.  

The infrastructure sector has stressed its willingness to work directly with the UN and others to address this as quickly as possible.  

Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, chief executive of FIDIC, the international body representing 40,000 engineering companies, explained: “The severe increase in the need for aid is something the world is likely to face more of in the years ahead, as climate damage continues to damage the sustainability of our ecosystems, agriculture and communities.” 

“The infrastructure sector stands ready to support the delivery of aid but this dramatic escalation of global turmoil needs a more strategic and lasting response too. FIDIC offers to work with the UN, multi & bilateral development banks, and other international bodies to help address climate damage, speed up decarbonisation and radically improve the resilience of both social and economic infrastructure in the affected countries around the world. We also stand ready to mobilise our members’ firms expertise to address the need for capacity building and effective procurement process to help rebuild vital infrastructure from water to roads, in countries suffering after years of conflict.” 

Issuing the appeal, Martin Griffiths, the head of OCHA, explained: “The climate crisis is hitting the world’s most vulnerable people first and worst. Protracted conflicts grind on, and instability has worsened in several parts of the world, notably Ethiopia, Myanmar and Afghanistan.” 

Climate change is contributing directly to rising hunger and food insecurity around the world, with famine-like conditions remaining a real and terrifying possibility in 43 countries, according to the OCHA’s data.