Geneva: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday said lives were at risk because of a shortfall in funds
Because of the gap in funding, the organisation says it has had to scale back the target for 2024 from helping 245 million people to 181 million.
Despite a range of disasters that included war, climate disasters, hunger, poverty, disease, and displacement, the office said it had seen donations dwindle.
"In 2023, we received just over one-third of the $57 billion required," OCHA head Martin Griffiths said in a statement on the OCHA website.
"This is the worst funding shortfall in years. Yet, we still managed to deliver life-saving assistance and protection to 128 million people around the world."
Griffiths said the need to find savings hit life-saving food, water and health projects.
"I am deeply concerned about what this means for humanitarian action in 2024," said Griffiths. "Without adequate funding, we cannot provide life-saving assistance. And if we cannot provide that assistance, people will pay with their lives," he said.
The office said it would have $10.3 billion less in 2024 than it did in 2023.
The low level of donations already had an impact in 2023, with no food aid reaching some 10 million vulnerable people in Afghanistan between May and November this year.
It was also not possible to build better accommodation for some half a million displaced people in Myanmar, as had previously been planned.
The office also raised concerns about people in need of aid in Yemen who do not have an adequate water supply.