Main trends in humanitarian aid 2012: less successful appeals; rise of Turkey; poor countries doing a lot of the heavy lifting

July 18, 2013

     By Duncan Green     

This year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance Report reports on a ‘quiet year’ (i.e. no mega disasters) in 2012 for global humanitarian aid. Total aid fell to $17.9bn from $19.4bn in 2011. That’s only a small fraction of total aid, but emergencies carry disproportionate weight in public perceptions. A few other points to note, plus some chunks of the inevitable infographic.

  • A grim update on the toll from the hunger crisis in Somalia: 257,000 (4.6% of the total population) died from 2010-12.
  • An absence of mega-disasters makes fundraising for less catastrophic crises harder: The proportion of total UN humanitarian appeals met in 2012 (62.7%) was the lowest for a decade.
  • Turkey was the fourth-largest donor of humanitarian assistance in 2012 (over US$1bn or 0.13% of GNI). This illustrates the rising significance of ‘emerging’ donors but also more comprehensive reporting of humanitarian assistance from a much wider range of providers. More on the rise of Turkey here.
  • Many of the poorest countries provide humanitarian assistance by hosting refugees – for example Pakistan hosted over 1.7m refugees in 2011, Kenya 567,000 and Chad 367,000.
  • Lots of positive developments in humanitarianism, including more cash transfers, an increased focus on resilience, access to info and more attention to disaster prevention and preparedness.
  • The most recent figures for recipient countries are 2011, so Syria won’t feature til next year.




July 18, 2013
Duncan Green