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Report: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine See Funding Shortfalls For Humanitarian Crises

A displaced Yemeni child stands outside temporary shelters at a camp for internally displaced persons in the eastern province of Marib. The war-torn country has one of the highest numbers of people in need of humanitarian assistance according to a new report.

Global humanitarian assistance continues to rise albeit at a slower pace to reach over 200 million people deemed in need of humanitarian aid.

There was a funding shortfall of $11 billion last year based on money that was committed to appeals from countries, resulting in 61 percent of requirements being met, according to the yearly Global Humanitarian Assistance report released this month.

Three of the biggest donors, the United States, Germany, and Britain, decreased their contributions, a trend that Development Initiatives -- the international development group that authored the report -- hopes won’t continue.

"We need to track the stance of these three large donors very closely and make sure it's not the start of an ongoing trend," Dan Coppard, director of research and analysis at Development Initiatives, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

U.S. spending on humanitarian aid shrunk by 6 percent or $423 million last year in comparison to the previous year, while Germany and Britain both spent 11 percent less than in 2017.

Still, international assistance reached a record $28.9 billion in 2018, but not all of it is committed to countries' appeals.

Countries asked for an unprecedented $28.3 billion last year. Six countries accounted for 80.6 million people whose lives have been devastated by conflict, displacement, or natural hazards.

War-torn Yemen and Syria had the highest numbers of people in need.

"The now-established pattern of recurrent, protracted, and complex crises disproportionately affects the poorest people and further entrenches poverty, particularly in politically and environmentally fragile contexts," the report said.

War, drought, and food insecurity has adversely affected more than 10 million people in Afghanistan. Last year, 78 percent of the $560 million that Kabul requested in humanitarian aid was delivered.

In Ukraine, where a war in the eastern part of the country against Moscow-backed separatists has entered its sixth year, some 3.5 million people are in critical need as only 39 percent of the $187 million that Kyiv requested was given.

Pakistan, also affected by conflict, requested $123 million, but received 62 percent for an estimated 3.2 million people in crises.

Forced displacement grew for the seventh consecutive year to 70.8 million people in 2018, representing a 3 percent rise over the previous year.

Protracted conflict is the primary driver of this phenomenon in places such as Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

With reporting by Reuters