The Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) 2021, launched today, contains startling figures on the devastating human impact of COVID-19. In 2021, some 235 million people in the world will need humanitarian assistance - a 40% increase on this year - almost entirely due to the global pandemic.
This crisis is having a particularly detrimental impact on women and girls, with 15 million additional cases of domestic violence predicted for every three months of lockdown. The Brussels launch of the GHO will focus on this theme, specifically examining how to assess and respond to the needs of women and girls in humanitarian crisis.
Imogen Sudbery - the IRC’s Director of Policy and Advocacy for Europe - will make a short intervention calling for funding to tackle gender-based violence (GBV) to include a 25% allocation to support women-led organisations working in communities implementing GBV programming. 
Elinor Raikes, the IRC’s Vice President of Program Delivery, said:
“Today’s release of the Global Humanitarian Needs Overview is a shocking reminder of the world’s inequalities and evidence that the most vulnerable are the ones most suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of people in need has increased by 40 percent to 235 million in the last year, almost entirely due to COVID-19 and the burden it is placing on economies, healthcare, education and basic infrastructure. With the Sahel region, northeast Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen all facing the threat of famine, it is time for world leaders to step up and address this egregious inequality by funding agencies, like the IRC, working on the frontlines to save lives.”
Imogen Sudbery, the IRC’s Director of Policy and Advocacy for Europe, added:
“Despite increased rhetoric during the COVID-19 pandemic about the need to prioritise women and girls, tailored and targeted plans with adequate funding remain missing at their international level. Less than half of the 1% of the funding request for the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which sets priorities for the global response to COVID-19, went towards preventing violence against women and girls.
Yet, feedback from clients living in some places where IRC works showed that GBV has increased by 73%. We have also found that the safe and meaningful participation of diverse women and girls in decision-making processes, relief services and recovery plans at all levels and throughout the response results in better humanitarian outcomes and quality GBV response services. That’s why we are calling for all GBV funding to include a 25% allocation to support women led organisations working in communities implementing GBV programming, including allocations for organisational strengthening and support of joint learning.”