Image by UN Photo/Tobin Jones
  • Report
  • 1 August 2013

Private funding for humanitarian assistance

This year’s Private Funding Report provides updated analysis of the money coming from private sources that contributed to the international humanitarian response between 2006 and 2011. This includes companies, foundations and individuals, and uses financial information from our unique study set of 78 international NGOs, as well as Red Cross and UN agencies. We look at where private financing comes from, where it gets spent and its role in international humanitarian response.

The effects of the global economic crisis started to show for the first time in international aid budgets in 2011. Bilateral official development assistance (ODA) from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries saw its first decrease since 1997, and bilateral humanitarian assistance also reduced. In 2012, both ODA and humanitarian assistance have continued falling, as more donors restrict their budgets. On the other hand, 2011 saw a severe food insecurity crisis in the Horn of Africa region, as well as heavy flooding in Pakistan and Central America. Yet the 2011 United Nation’s (UN) Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) presented its lowest level of needs met in a decade. Following a record year of private humanitarian fundraising in 2010, this begged the question: in times of reduced government aid budgets, can private funding “fill the gap”? We examine trends in private humanitarian funding using data and information provided to us by some of the biggest agencies, in an attempt to answer this question and to quantify levels of private humanitarian funding worldwide.

The report also discusses the relative lack of transparency in private funding compared with government and institutional funding, and considers ways to improve reporting. We believe a clearer picture of all resources available for funding humanitarian response would result in more effective use of the money available.

This report was produced by our Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) programme and can be accessed here.