• Report
  • 11 March 2015

Think Piece: Humanitarian Financing

There has never been enough humanitarian funding. Needs have always gone unmet, and the international community has long sought ways to fix this problem. Yet there now appears to be renewed energy for change and a sense that humanitarian assistance is at a critical juncture. The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) is part of this agenda for change, which aims to bring the global community together to commit to new ways of working to make humanitarian action fit for the future.

Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) is involved in consultations leading up to the WHS in May 2016. Under the overall heading of ‘humanitarian effectiveness’ our work has focused on improving financing for humanitarian action. Our think piece provides an overview of the problems of humanitarian financing, summarises the approaches and improvements made to date, and highlights areas where more discussion and research are needed.

The report was drafted for a meeting of WHS thematic experts in Lausanne, Switzerland, in November 2014. Since then there have been some changes to the data and important developments in the area of humanitarian financing that are not covered in the document.

The humanitarian financing gap is widening and it is clear that bold and comprehensive solutions are required. This paper is a first step towards finding new ideas and ways of working and we welcome your comments and feedback.

You can also read our blog on donor reporting on gender spending, which shows that less than a third of all projects reported to the UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affair Financial Tracking Service in 2014 were coded using a gender marker. The WHS provides a critical opportunity to push for a stronger commitment from donors regarding their consistent use of an international standardised reporting system on gender.