Armed conflicts have been the greatest driver of prolonged humanitarian need, according to the Global Humanitarian Overview 2016, a publication of the Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Branch (PRMB) of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“Crises are becoming more protracted and displacement levels are unprecedented due to the lack of durable political solutions,” the report states, adding that nearly 60 million people, half of them children, have had to flee their homes due to conflict and violence. The crisis in Syria, perhaps the most profound conflict worldwide, is in its fifth year. During 2015, more than 830,000 refugees and migrants fled to Europe, approximately half of them from Syria.

Despite the security concerns and access issues in volatile areas around the world, almost 6 million people received monthly food assistance and 4.4 million people received and other assistance and shelter support in 2015. In addition, more than 9 million people received medical care, and more than 5 million children benefited from education support.

Looking ahead to 2016, humanitarian needs are expected to grow, especially in the midst of the El niño weather patterns. These needs will require $20.1 billion in funding to serve 87.6 million people in 37 countries, the report states. Currently, about 60 million people are displaced around the world, and more than a quarter of these displacements are due to the conflicts in Iraq, South Sudan and Syria.

The report goes on to outline how urgent needs can be met despite funding shortfalls, such as leveraging diverse funding sources and using the right mix of finance instruments for each situation. It also discusses the latest trend in cash assistance.

Finally, the report features a description of the new Financial Tracking Service platform (beta). It will utilize interactive maps as well as at-a-glance data and information. The new website can be accessed at

The full Humanitarian Overview report can be found here.