Humanitarian aid rises to record $28 billion in 2015

Reuters News
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Posted: May 19, 2016 5:03 PM

BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - International humanitarian assistance given last year totaled a record $28 billion, new figures show in the run-up to the first World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey next week.

Independent UK-based research organization Development Initiatives, which released the data on Thursday, said 2015 saw the third consecutive annual rise in funding.

Yet despite the record amount given by governments and private donors, needs have outpaced generosity around the world, leaving the U.N.-led annual appeals with an unprecedented shortfall of 45 percent last year.

One key aim of the May 23-24 summit is to find ways to improve the volumes and effectiveness of funding to help people in crises caused by conflicts and natural disasters.

Here are some facts and figures on humanitarian aid, prepared annually by Development Initiatives, which is due to release a full report in June:

- Total international humanitarian assistance in 2015 was $28 billion, the highest recorded volume and an increase of 12 percent from 2014.

- Government donations rose by almost 11 percent in 2015, to $21.8 billion from $19.6 billion.

- Gulf states drove an increase of more than 500 percent in assistance from the Middle East and North Africa in the last four years.

- Private donations showed an estimated increase of around 13 percent to $6.2 billion in 2015.

- In 2015, U.N.-coordinated appeals - which aim to raise funds from across the donor community to address humanitarian crises but do not capture all global needs or funding flows - experienced their largest shortfall to date of 45 percent.

The amount requested for all appeals was $19.8 billion, down by $0.6 billion from 2014, but the total given to them dropped by $1.6 billion.

- The best-funded crisis in 2015 was Iraq, with 74 percent of its humanitarian appeal needs met, while Gambia was the most under-funded, receiving just 5 percent of what was requested.

- Around three quarters of those living in extreme poverty, 677 million people, are in countries that are either environmentally vulnerable or politically fragile or both, leaving them vulnerable to crisis.

Source: Development Initiatives

(Reporting by Megan Rowling; editing by Ros Russell. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)