New analysis published today by Development Initiatives (DI) shows that although 2016 saw a fourth successive increase in private donations of international humanitarian assistance, the rate of growth slowed significantly. DI’s Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2017 finds that private donations reached an estimated US$6.9 billion in 2016, just 6% higher than in 2015, following a sharp increase of 26% the previous year. This slowdown mirrors trends in public assistance, which also slowed considerably in 2016.
While historically private donors have responded more generously to sudden-onset crises or natural disasters, private funding reported to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Financial Tracking Service shows the Syria crisis was the largest recipient of private funds in 2016 for the second year running, with contributions from private donors totalling US$223 million. The European refugee and migrant crisis also attracted large contributions from private donors in 2016. Donations from private sources to Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey reached a combined total of US$71 million − approximately 13% of total international funding for the crisis.
Overall international humanitarian assistance – from public and private sources – increased for the fourth consecutive year, reaching US$27.3 billion in 2016, an increase of US$1.5 billion on 2015.
This is set against a backdrop of high levels of need. 2016 was yet another year of multiple crises, and Development Initiatives estimates that over 164 million people globally were in need of humanitarian assistance during the year, with over a quarter of them living in just three countries: Yemen (21.2 million people), Syria (13.5 million) and Iraq (10.4 million).
Harpinder Collacott, Executive Director at Development Initiatives, said, “Private donations – whether they are made by individuals, trusts, foundations, companies, corporations or national societies – continue to play an important role in meeting humanitarian need.
“This role is likely to become even more significant over the next few years as the changing global political landscape may require many private foundations to step up and provide assistance where government foreign assistance declines. This will be essential to prevent potentially detrimental impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable people around the world.
“Crucially actors must provide information on their financial contributions so it is possible to trace all financing down to source, and assess its impact.”
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Emma Cooke, Communications Officer at Development Initiatives
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44(0)1179 272505
Notes to editors:
- ‘Private donations’ refers to funding from individuals, trusts and foundations, companies and corporations, and national societies that is directed to UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in humanitarian response.
- Development Initiatives publishes its Global Humanitarian Assistance Report annually, providing vital information for those making decisions about future policy directions and resource allocation, supporting them to navigate a complex and constantly changing financing landscape.
- The executive summary and full report can be found after the embargo is lifted at devinit.org/global-humanitarian-assistance-2017.
- Charts and data can be provided, and can be used with the following credit:
– If using our data and figure:
Data analysis and figure development by Development Initiatives: www.devinit.org
– If using our data and redesigning for your own figure:
Data analysis by Development Initiatives: devinit.org.
- Interviews can be arranged with Harpinder Collacott, Executive Director, Sophia Swithern, Head of Research and Analysis, or Charlotte Lattimer, Senior Policy and Engagement Adviser.