Today, as we reach three months until the world’s first World Humanitarian Summit, Islamic Relief explains why the initiative is so important.

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Changes in humanitarian needs and Islamic Relief’s response.

In 2014, the five countries receiving most international aid were Syria, occupied Palestinian territory, Sudan, South Sudan and Jordan*. Together, they received USD $4.743 billion. All were conflict affected.

More people were displaced by crises in 2014 than ever before. Many, as in the widely documented case of Syria, have been displaced by conflict, but natural disaster also plays its part. Risk of displacement by disasters doubled in the last 40 years and will continue to rise. According to the 2014 Global Humanitarian Assistance Report, in 2013, 96 million people were affected by disasters, compared to 11 million in 2012.

These make alarming figures, and forecasts show numbers are set to rise.

The current world population is around 7.3 billion. Projections estimate a global population growth to 8 billion by 2030, 9 billion by 2050, and 10.9 billion by 2100. Conflict is being caused by resource scarcity and population growth, among other reasons.

A growing population impacts poverty directly, but as population growth impacts on conflict, conflict in turn also impacts poverty. People in conflict-affected states were more than twice as likely to be undernourished as people not in conflict-affected states. They are also more than three times as likely to be unable to send their children to school, twice as likely to bury their child before age five, and more than twice as likely to lack clean water.**

As more people call for humanitarian assistance, it is crucial that individual, organisational, national and international responses are the best they can be.

* Figures from the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2015.

** The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ World Disasters Report 2011.