DI’s Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) programme has published the latest and most comprehensive picture of global humanitarian financing, in the form of the GHA Report 2011. In this annual report the world of humanitarian funding is broken down to provide information on where the money comes from, where it goes, and how it gets there, presenting data and analysis on the top donors and top recipients, delivery agencies and financing mechanisms, and extending to contributions by the military, domestic response and more. The variety of forces which shape humanitarian assistance, as well as the view beyond it, are explored, by looking towards development aid and the broader environment within which the humanitarian element operates. Key messages emerge from the analysis, emphasising the enduring need for transparency and effective coordination of resources.
This year’s report reveals that in 2010 international humanitarian response surpassed previous years, reaching US$16.7 billion. Of this total, US$12.4 billion came from governments (a preliminary estimate), with the US, EU institutions and the UK leading the way as the largest of those donors. In 2009, Sudan remained the largest single recipient for the fifth consecutive year, with US$1.4 billion and humanitarian aid to Palestine/OPT increased dramatically from US$863 million in 2008 to US$1.3 billion in 2009, making it the second largest recipient. In that year, more than 65% of all humanitarian assistance went to conflict-affected and post-conflict states. Demand for humanitarian aid financing expressed in the United Nations’ (UN) consolidated appeal increased by US$1.5 billion to a high of US$11.3 billion 2010 – yet so too did the financing gap: US$4.2 billion (37%) of those needs were unmet, the highest proportion since 2001. Surely the balance is not right when for every US$100 of humanitarian assistance only 75 cents is spent on disaster prevention and preparedness?
The GHA Report 2011 comes against the backdrop of a challenging 12 months for the humanitarian financing community. Faced with natural disasters such as the Pakistan floods of July 2010 which caused devastation, with political turmoil sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa leaving in its wake large-scale need and humanitarian crises, with conflict, climate change, the hazards of the global economy and more, global humanitarian assistance has been stretched to unprecedented levels.
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