The 2011 Humanitarian Appeal, which was launched on 30 November in Geneva, is a record appeal. Not only has the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for 2011 requested an unprecedented US$7.4 billion in humanitarian assistance, but it is also aimed at 50 million beneficiaries, the highest number ever targeted by the CAP.
The number of beneficiaries of the Humanitarian Appeal has almost doubled in the last seven years but the volume of funding sought has increased by more than 335%. In a similar way, the US$ requested per beneficiary has increased dramatically with a 128% increase in 2011 compared to 2005, but reaching as high as 265% growth in 2010. Such a dramatic increase in the appeal requirements has multiple explanations. The skyrocketing cost of commodities in recent years, specifically the rise in the price of food and fuel, increased operational costs and difficult access to beneficiaries in some of the traditional CAP countries, such as Somalia, may account for this trend. However, it remains very difficult to assert that the increase in costs for humanitarian delivery keeps pace with the increase in appeal requirements.
In 2011, 425 aid organisations are participating in projects for 14 consolidated appeals (note that the Djibouti appeal was launched already in October 2010), covering 28 countries. Additionally, there are three ongoing flash appeals still requesting funding in 2011 – the Pakistan Floods Relief and Early Recovery Response Plan (running from August 2010 until August 2011), Kyrgyzstan Extended and Revised Flash Appeal (June 2010 – June 2011), and Benin Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan (November 2010 – May 2011). All consolidated appeals in the 2011 CAP follow appeals for the same countries in 2010. However, there is also good news – 2011 will be the first year since 2000 that Uganda does not need a consolidated appeal, as the internally displaced persons (IDPs) resettlement work of many years is near completion and the country has moved out of a large-scale humanitarian crisis situation.
A review of the funding status for appeals in 2010 leaves us with conflicting feelings. On one hand, 2010 was the year that a record US$13.1 billion raised in humanitarian aid, largely driven by the two mega-disasters that affected three million people in Haiti and over 20 million in Pakistan. Natural disasters in 2010 raised the second largest amount in CAP history – US$5.4 billion. Thus the volume of humanitarian aid in 2010, as recorded by the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), exceeds even that raised in the year of the Tsunami and South Asia earthquake responses. Additionally, three weeks before the end of the year, the funding channelled towards projects included in the CAP is almost the highest ever and is very likely to reach a record amount by the end of the year.
On the other hand, 2010 was also the year of the lowest appeal coverage (i.e. appeal funding as a share of the appeal requirements) for the last 5 years, though it may even be the lowest for the last nine years if the funding for the appeals does not improve over the next few weeks. It seems contradictory that the appeal will remain over 40% unfunded in the year of the highest humanitarian funding ever, however this apparent contradiction is due to the large appeal requirements for 2010 and the fact that the unmet requirements are the largest ever.
In terms of individual appeals funding, 2010 does not present great polarisation in the appeal coverage. Even the worst funded consolidated and flash appeals were funded at 44% and 46% respectively, compared to the previous year when they had received 37% and 32%. In fact, the worst funded appeal in 2010 (the Central African Republic consolidated appeal) has the highest funding levels ever. However, when we look at the best funded appeal in 2010 – the Haiti Revised Humanitarian Appeal, it’s 72% funding actually presents the lowest value since 2000.
Finally, funding for the CAP is also an invaluable source of information about the humanitarian donor scene. The United States and the European Commission, two of the usual suspects, have consistently been two of the top three donors for the past five years. A quick look at the largest CAP donors over the 2005-2010 period shows that contributions from individuals and other private sources experienced an upward trend even in the years of no major humanitarian crises. In 2005 private funding reached an unprecedented 9.7% of all funding for the CAP, clearly driven by the Southeast Asia tsunami. It made up 1.4% of all appeal funding in 2006 further increasing the following years and more than doubled its volume in 2009 when it contributed US$244 million to the CAP. The Haiti earthquake response mobilised vast support from corporations, as well as from the general public, raising US$285 million or 78% of all private contributions for 2010 CAP appeals. In fact, private sources are the third largest humanitarian donor to this years’ CAP.