International humanitarian assistance rose for the third consecutive year in 2015, up 12 percent on a year-over-year basis to a record $28 billion, a new study by Development Initiatives finds.
Released to coincide with the World Humanitarian Summit, which opens today in Istanbul, Turkey, the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report, 2016 found that a large portion of the funding came from major donor governments, which increased their contributions to $21.8 billion, up from $19.6 billion in 2014. As in the past, the United States contributed nearly 90 percent of the regional Central and North American total, while the United Kingdom provided 27 percent of the European total. The report also found that Gulf donors have driven an increase in assistance of more than 500 percent over the past four years from the Middle East and North of Sahara region.
At the same time, humanitarian appeals coordinated by the United Nations in 2015 experienced their largest shortfall in history — some 45 percent — leaving some countries sorely lacking in funds to address their needs. Gambia, for example, received just 5 percent of the funding requested in UN-coordinated appeals, while Iraq, in contrast, received 74 percent of the funding it requested.
The report also found that nearly three-quarters of those living in extreme poverty, some 677 million people, live in countries that are either environmentally vulnerable or politically fragile, or both, leaving them especially vulnerable to disaster or crisis.