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  • Report
  • 19 June 2018

Global humanitarian assistance report 2018

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In 2017, conflicts and disasters around the world left an estimated 201 million people in need of the ‘last resort’ of international humanitarian assistance in order to cope and survive. The conflicts in Syria, Yemen and South Sudan continued to cause suffering and displacement for many millions of people. Meanwhile disasters in the Caribbean and droughts and food insecurity in the Horn of Africa devastated the lives and livelihoods of many more. Elsewhere, crises from Burundi to Ukraine continued to affect large populations but garner few international headlines.

It is now two years since the World Humanitarian Summit brought humanitarian donors, responders and affected people together to agree how crises need to be dealt with differently. Bold commitments were made to shift the financing model – to diversify the donor base, reduce need and improve efficiencies. Two years on, how are we measuring up? On the one hand, we are starting to see some important innovations gather momentum: a focus on insurance and anticipation, more funding for cash transfer programmes, and greater investments from multilateral development banks. On the other hand, we are seeing a slow-down in international humanitarian financing, inadequate long-term development funding, and little progress in supporting localisation.

Many of you are dealing with the difficult daily realities of how to advance these commitments and how to best spend increasingly constrained resources. To do this, you need accurate, transparent data and reliable analysis. In response, the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report has been presenting the most comprehensive available data in an independent, rigorous and accessible digest since 2000.

Each year we adapt and update the GHA report to respond to the feedback of our readers and to the changing context. So this year we are pleased to introduce a new approach – a concise presentation of the essential facts and figures that you need at your fingertips. This forms part of Development Initiatives’ wider programme of humanitarian analysis, and we will be publishing in-depth research on pressing issues in crisis financing to accompany the GHA report over the coming year. This will be on cash programming, multi-year financing and demystifying the array of financial instruments and mechanisms used by humanitarians. All these will be available on our website.

As ever, we welcome your feedback on the report as well as your ideas on how we can further support your work. Improving the way the world prevents, prepares for and responds to the crises that affect the most vulnerable people remains a critical challenge. It is one we must approach collectively, with the best possible data and evidence to guide us – we look forward to continuing to be part of that effort.

Thank you for your interest.

Harpinder Collacott

Executive Director