NEW YORK, 27th April, 2016 (WAM) — With 60 million people across the world affected by droughts, floods and other extreme weather events triggered by El Nino, the top United Nations relief official has called on the international community to act now to address urgent humanitarian needs and support building communities’ resilience to future shocks.

“I am here to sound the alarm. Again. We must act today to help people whose entire way of life and survival is threatened,” Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in Geneva during a conference on responding to El Nino.

“We are here today to make a global call for support and action. Sixty million people already require our urgent assistance today, tonight, tomorrow. Together we can avert the crisis from worsening. But the longer we wait, the longer and more costly our response will need to be,” continued Mr. O’Brien, saying that inaction also risked undermining decades of investments in development.

According to the UN, the current El Nino is one of the strongest on record, affecting an estimated 60 million people including some of the most vulnerable in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Pacific.