Funding Disasters: Tracking global humanitarian funding for response to natural hazards
This study analysed international financial flows to nine countries (Kenya, Lesotho, Peru,
Mozambique, Haiti, Vanuatu, Nepal, Indonesia, and DRC) for the 18 months after recent crises
(drought, flood, cyclone, earthquake, and epidemic) to understand funding timelines and
This is a diverse set of cases, but some interesting findings emerge. Very little funding (2.3%)
was pre-arranged and often fast and flexible UN humanitarian funding played a crucial role in
kick-starting the emergency response. While humanitarian funding for rapid-onset crises, which
have a strong ‘CNN effect’, was often reasonably fast, funding for drought remains extremely slow.
In fact, it is development rather than humanitarian actors that provide most (74%) of the funding;
the World Bank is the biggest funder (50%) and also one of the slowest. Finally, the study found
that low amounts of funding, and the delays in its arrival, has an unequivocal human cost, often
with long-term consequences.
The study recommends that a greater proportion of funding is pre-arranged based on pre-agreed
triggers for response. For unforeseen risks, a greater proportion of funding should be via fast and
flexible mechanisms. Development partners should increase investment to support government led crisis response and all actors need to work together to solve the problem of poor response to
drought. The World Bank should consider how to speed up funding for crises and as more than
half of all funding was in the form of loans, more work is needed to explore the role of loans in
crisis response and recovery for the poorest countries.
Crosslye, E.; Hillier, D.; Plichta, M.; Rieger, N.; Waygood, S.
Centre for Disaster Protection
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