The UN said on Tuesday that $35 billion would be needed for aid in 2021, with the body’s annual Global Humanitarian Overview estimating that 235 million people worldwide will need some form of emergency assistance next year — a staggering 40-percent increase in the past year. “The picture we are presenting is the bleakest and darkest perspective on humanitarian need in the period ahead that we have ever set out,” said UN emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock, who insisted that the situation was brought about “almost entirely because of Covid-19”. For the first time since the 1990s, extreme poverty is set to rise, life expectancy will fall, and the annual death toll from HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria could potentially double, but “possibly the most alarming thing… is the threat of the return of famines, potentially in multiple locations,” Lowcock said.