HomeWorldIrish charity Concern Worldwide helped 30 million people last year

Irish charity Concern Worldwide helped 30 million people last year

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The numbers of people who are in need of humanitarian assistance at the end of the 2023 reached 363.3 million

Concern’s Chief Executive David Regan warned this work must be supported by real political and economic efforts to end conflict, build peace and tackle climate change.

The numbers of people who are in need of humanitarian assistance at the end of the 2023 reached 363.3 million – an increase of 37 million over the year.

In contrast, just 38 per cent of appeals for humanitarian funding were met over the last 12 months, according the organisation’s 2023 annual report published today.

“We live in a time of crisis, fuelled by conflict, climate change and inequality, and the international community must respond to the needs of the most vulnerable who are also those most impacted,” Mr Regan said.

“Humanitarian organisations alone cannot address this scale of crisis. We need those who can end conflict, build peace and urgently address the climate crisis – the major drivers of extreme poverty in the world today.”

The 2023 annual report shows that Concern reached 30 million people last year in 26 of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.

“We are proud of the work we did in 2023 and the lasting impact it had on millions of people living in extreme poverty. But, as the numbers of people in need of humanitarian assistance grow, it’s vital that sufficient funding is made available by the international community to enable organisations like Concern respond.”

Twenty three of the 26 countries where Concern works are ranked in the top 50 most conflict affected countries in the world.

During 2023 Concern launched an emergency response to the growing needs in Yemen, where nine years of conflict have left 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

Last year Concern spent €242.3m, €1.5 million more than in 2022. Of this, 92.7 per cent was used for charitable activities and the rest on fundraising.

The organisation’s income last year was €233 million, down €17 million on 2022.

Of this, €45.4 million came from public donations and legacies in Ireland, the UK and South Korea, including €27.2 million from the Republic of Ireland.

A further €173.6 million came from grants from governments and other institutional donors.

The highlights of Concern’s work during 2023 included:

Concern responded to 66 emergencies in 20 countries, reaching almost 15.5 million people. These included almost 250,000 impacted by the Turkiye/Syria earthquake, 346,000 people in war-torn Sudan and over 144,000 in Ukraine;

Its livelihoods programme reached 2.3 million people, providing food security and livelihoods.

These included 352,000 people in Malawi where the programme focused on agriculture, and food and nutrition security, while also building the resilience of communities against the impact of climate change.

Its health programmes reached over nine million people in 21 countries.

In South Sudan, where 56% of the population face high levels of food insecurity, Concern supported nutrition services in 39 centres, reaching almost 131,000 people with both preventative and curative services.

Its education programmes benefited over 1.1 million people. Concern reached almost 95,000 people in Niger, despite the recurrent humanitarian crises there driven by conflict and political unrest.

Where schools were closed by regional insecurity, it piloted and then scaled up an informal learning approach using interactive audio lessons.

Its integrated programmes, combining a number of programmes, reached 2.3 million people in 16 countries.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo where increasing insecurity and conflict has forced 2.8 million from their homes, Concern’s integrated programming directly reached over 136,000 people with water, sanitation, gender equality, protection and education projects.

“We are deeply grateful to our donors – the public, the trusts and foundations, and institutional donors – whose continued generosity and trust has enabled us work with communities to tackle extreme poverty and hunger,” Mr Regan said.

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