This year’s DIHAD, the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference, focuses on building effective and sustainable partnerships between humanitarian assistance and development activities. As humanitarian financing becomes increasingly important within the sector – in terms of who gives what, when, where and how – Tony German, Executive Director of Development Initiatives, is presenting on humanitarian trends focusing specifically on ‘traditional’ DAC donors versus ‘emerging’ partners in south-south cooperation or non-DAC donors, within the broader context of trends in development and eradicating poverty.
Tony will outline how, traditionally, countries have been classified as ‘developed’ and ’developing,’ and aid has been conceptualised as a set group of richer countries giving support to a set group of poorer countries. Today’s development challenges look quite different now there are a more diverse range of actors (domestic, international, philanthropic, corporate), in which countries are both donors and recipients, and it is recognised that poverty, crisis and insecurity are intimately linked.
Tony will be presenting data on the trends in governmental support for international humanitarian aid over time and the changing balance between governments that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and others who aren’t. There is not a clear trend amongst funding by non-DAC donors, despite the fact that the number of non-DAC donors has grown in the past decade. Volumes depend on just a few donors and their contributions, which are not constant throughout years but tend to be responsive to particular one-off emergencies, with Gulf States (Kuwait, UAE,Saudi Arabia and Qatar) representing the majority of flows.
Figure 1: Volumes of governmental support for international humanitarian aid
Tony will also be presenting data on the scale and distribution of global humanitarian assistance from non-DAC donors (who it comes from, where it is spent, which channels it flows through, what it is spent on). Traditionally, non-DAC donors have channelled more humanitarian aid through governments. However, in recent years more humanitarian aid has been channelled through multilateral mechanisms. For example, in 2010, in response to the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods, Saudi Arabia channelled US$50 million to Haiti via the emergency response funds (ERF) and India gave US$20 million to the Pakistan ERF.
Figure 2 Humanitarian aid: channels of delivery, 2007-2011
While there are some differences in the way these two types of donors channel humanitarian aid, there are also some similarities. For example, both sets of donors give humanitarian aid based on regional proximity, language, history and culture ties. Figure 3 shows that Australia gave a higher proportion of aid to Oceania, compared to other DAC donors – most likely due to regional proximity – and Belgium gave a larger proportion to the Great Lakes region, probably due to historical links with the region. Non-DAC donors also give in the same way. In 2008, 85% of humanitarian aid to Yemen was from this group of donors, of which 99% was from Saudi Arabia.
Figure 3: How Australia and Belgium give a bigger proportion of their ODA and HA budgets to certain recipients compared to the average donor
At DIHAD, Tony German will discuss the evolving humanitarian system, with different actors, mechanisms and types of funding and the trends in humanitarian financing, focusing specifically on non-DAC donors, as well as the complexity of tracking these types of flows.
Read the presentation in full: