• Data tool
  • 7 September 2022

Global humanitarian assistance: funding and need

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This data tool lets you explore the largest donors of international humanitarian assistance and how they deliver assistance to recipients.

Use these interactive charts to view and compare how much international humanitarian assistance donor countries give and through which channels, and how this varies between recipient countries.

This tool is useful for those who want to focus on the funding trends of specific donors, the recipients over time, or to make comparisons within the two groups. You can also see who is most at risk using our interactive map. Read more on how leading donors allocated humanitarian assistance to recipients in this year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance Report.

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People and crisis

Many more people, in more countries, continue to be affected by humanitarian crises than in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. On the interactive map below, you will find data related to the following dimensions:

  • The severity of a crisis: The severity score shows the intensity of a crisis using a scale with six values (Very low to Very high, or not assessed).
  • Climate vulnerability: A country's level of vulnerability to an extreme weather event using a scale with six values (Very low to Very high, or not assessed).
  • Covid vaccination rate: The percentage of the population who have received at least one vaccination against Covid-19.
  • Food insecurity: The number of people in urgent need of assistance due to food insecurity.
  • People in need: The number of people facing humanitarian crisis as measured under a United Nations appeal or assessed by ACAPS.
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See how people are affected by humanitarian crisis

  • The controls above the map allow you to view the different dimensions of data. You can then hover over a country to see more details, or click to view data on the country’s national and regional humanitarian response plans.

    You can zoom in and out of the map using the buttons at the top of the chart, and return to the default view using the “Reset” button below the map.

To view this interactive visualisation make sure JavaScript is available on your device.

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About the data in this chart

Source: The data for severity of crisis is for 2021, from ACAPS Crisis Overview.

The data for climate vulnerability is for 2020, from Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN). Countries are ranked by quintile from ‘Very low’ to ‘Very high’ vulnerability.

The data for Covid-19 vaccination rate is up to June 2021, from Our World In Data (OWID). The figures show the share of population who have received at least one Covid-19 vaccination.

The data for food insecurity is for 2022, from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), supplemented with data from UN humanitarian needs assessments. Data is preliminary, based on partial-year data and projections. The figures show the number of people who are facing acute food insecurity and are in need of urgent assistance (IPC Phase 3+ or equivalent).

The data for people in need is for 2021, from UN humanitarian needs assessments and supplemented with data from ACAPS Crisis Overview. The figures show the number of people who are in need of humanitarian assistance covered by UN-appeals or assessed by ACAPS.

Notes: This map does not imply expression by DI concerning the legal status or reality of borders or territories.

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Donors

Who gives international humanitarian assistance?

Government donors are the main source of international humanitarian assistance. Over the past 10 years, the amount given by government donors has increased from US$12.2 billion in 2012 to US$24.9 billion in 2021, and the majority of this (97%) has been provided by the largest 20 donor countries.

However, the volumes given by individual governments have fluctuated over time. In 2021, the three largest donors (the US, Germany and the UK) accounted for 59% of all humanitarian assistance, yet there was a 40% reduction in funding from the UK.

How is this assistance provided?

Government donors provide humanitarian funding in different ways. Most funding is provided as bilateral contributions, with donors broadly or strictly specifying where and what their funding is spent on by implementing organisations, such as UN agencies and international NGOs. Public donors also provide multilateral contributions for humanitarian responses in the form of core funding for multilateral institutions, such as the EU and the UN. This distinction reflects the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC)’s definitions of bilateral and multilateral official development assistance, applied to humanitarian assistance.

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Compare volumes of international humanitarian assistance from donors and how it was allocated, 2012–2021

  • The controls above the chart allow you to manipulate different views of the data. You can then hover your cursor over (if on a desktop) or tap (if on a tablet) the bars to view more details. Use this chart to:

    • View individual donors or compare two donors using the drop-down menu ‘Select donors’
    • View the data as volumes, proportions, or %GNI using the drop-down menu ‘Display data as’.

    Proportions can be more helpful when comparing donors of different sizes.

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About the data in this chart

Source: Development Initiatives based on OECD DAC Creditor Reporting System (CRS), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Financial Tracking Service (FTS) and UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) data.

Notes: Years with blanks for volumes or proportions indicate zero funding. Some years are missing estimates of %GNI. Figures for 2021 are preliminary estimates. Data is in constant 2020 prices. EU institutions are shown as a separate donor for comparison but are not included in the calculation of all donors. This is because contributions by EU member states to the EU budget are imputed to their respective international humanitarian assistance. Preliminary 2021 figures for Denmark have only been partially reported to the OECD DAC and will be revised upwards in final reporting at the end of 2022. There is no comprehensive data available on multilateral assistance provided by non-DAC donors; only selected non-DAC donors shown. For more information, visit our online ‘Methodology and definitions’ for the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2022.

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Channels of delivery

How is international humanitarian assistance delivered?

Over the last 10 years, international humanitarian assistance from public donors has been delivered in largely the same way. Most of the funding provided bilaterally by public donors is channelled through multilateral organisations such as UN agencies, with a smaller proportion going to NGOs. However, there are some differences between donors.

This chart shows the first-level recipients of assistance. While funding is often passed on to further intermediaries before reaching the final recipient, there is a lack of comprehensive data on how funding is channelled through the transaction chain.

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Compare how public donors channelled international humanitarian assistance, 2012–2021

  • The controls above the chart allow you to manipulate different views of the data. You can then hover your cursor over (if on a desktop) or tap (if on a tablet) the bars to view more details. Use this chart to:

    • View individual donors or compare two donors using the drop-down menu ‘Select donors’.

To view this interactive visualisation make sure JavaScript is available on your device.

To view this interactive visualisation use a device with a larger screen.

About the data in this chart

Source: Development Initiatives based on OECD DAC CRS, UN OCHA FTS and UN CERF data.

Notes: NGO = non-governmental organisation; RCRC = International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Data is in constant 2020 prices. OECD DAC CRS codes ‘other’, ‘public–private partnerships’, ‘private sector institutions’ and ‘teaching institutions, research institutes or think tanks’ are merged to ‘other’.

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Recipients

Which countries receive international humanitarian assistance, from which donors and to which types of organisation?

Over time, a small number of large-scale crises have absorbed the majority of country-allocable international humanitarian assistance. There has been little change in the group of largest recipient countries over the past five years, with the largest amount of funding channelled to Yemen and Syria.

Most humanitarian assistance is targeted at countries experiencing protracted crisis. Levels of funding to different crises have fluctuated over time.

The types of organisations to which assistance is delivered in countries also varies between crises.

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Explore funding to the largest country recipients of international humanitarian assistance, their leading donors and the types of recipient organisations, 2012–2021

  • The controls above the chart allow you to manipulate different views of the data. You can then hover your cursor over (if on a desktop) or tap (if on a tablet) the bars to view more details. Use this chart to:

    • View recipient countries using the drop-down menu ‘Select recipient’
    • Break down the volumes of assistance to each recipient country by the largest donors to the crisis or by type of recipient organisation, selecting either option from the drop-down menu.

To view this interactive visualisation make sure JavaScript is available on your device.

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About the data in this chart

Source: Development Initiatives based on UN OCHA FTS.

Notes: DRC = Democratic Republic of Congo; NGO = non-governmental organisation; RCRC = International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Data is in constant 2020 prices.

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Metadata

Dataset title: Donor governments, recipient countries and channel of delivery for international humanitarian assistance

Author: Development Initiatives

Source: Development Initiatives based on OECD DAC, UN OCHA FTS, UN CERF data

Timeframe: 2012–2021

Geography: Global

License: Creative Commons Attribution BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license

Citation: Development Initiatives, 2022. International humanitarian assistance: Donors, channels and recipients. Available at: https://devinit.org/data/international-humanitarian-assistance-donors-channels-and-recipients

These charts build on the analysis presented in the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2022 and allow users to investigate specific donors and crises. Development Initiatives’ Global Humanitarian Assistance programme regularly produces briefings and outputs related to humanitarian finance. You can find more content on our resources page and sign up to our ‘Humanitarian crisis’ topic updates via our mailing list for information on future outputs and events.