Disaster risk reduction: spending where it should count

This report examines the levels of donor investment in disaster risk reduction in the top 40 humanitarian recipients over the last 10 years, and compares and contrasts these totals with overall aid figures.

The humanitarian system is under considerable strain. Needs are increasing, and commodity prices remain at near-record highs.  There is pressure on donors either to reduce their humanitarian expenditures or at the very least, more than before, to justify the value in each dollar spent. This is in a context of mega-disasters on an almost unheard of scale and continual expenditures of vast sums in complex emergencies.

Questions are posed about the adequacy and equity of this funding, and whether it is being appropriately directed to meet needs. All this is in the context of a current model of year-on-year increase of humanitarian expenditure in the same countries, and a humanitarian system which is increasingly under pressure. The sustainability of this is questionable.

In this report we examine the top 40 humanitarian recipient countries in the context of natural disasters and especially with regard to financing to reduce risk. We highlight how prevalent disasters are in these countries, and their particularly significant impact. Beyond this, we examine the current state of funding for DRR and, in the context of those countries most at risk of natural disaster, ask questions about the volume and type of funding, and its equity. We ask: are the right choices being made?

This was produced by our Global Humanitarian Assistance programme.