Private funding: An emerging trend in humanitarian donorship
12th April 2012 – The Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) programme launches a new report today, Private funding: An emerging trend in humanitarian donorship. At a time when many government donor budgets are feeling the squeeze from the economic crisis, the levels of private voluntary contributions in humanitarian donorship are showing no such signs, as revealed in this new report.
Major humanitarian crises in the past decade have prompted unprecedented amounts of private donations: the tsunami that caused widespread devastation across the Indian Ocean in December 2004 saw US$3.9 billion raised in private aid; the response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti generated at least US$1.2 billion in contributions from the general public; and US$450 million was channelled in response to the 2010 floods in Pakistan. Yet gaining a clear picture of how much private money is out there in any given year remains a significant challenge. Neither dedicated tracking mechanisms nor consistent reporting practices exist for this type of financing.
This new report examines private funding trends in recent years, and the emerging role of this type of donorship. It looks at the crucial role that delivery agencies play in mobilising and implementing private support to humanitarian crises. A breakdown is provided of private contributions to aid organisations, focusing specifically on the UN, the Red Cross Movement and NGOs, and reveals that some large international NGOs mobilise more private resources for humanitarian response than most donor governments. The obstacles to gaining a clear picture of how much private money is out there in any given year are also exposed.
Some headline figures: Nearly a quarter (24%) of the international humanitarian response for the period 2006 to 2010 came from private voluntary contributions - at least US$18 billion; private funding as a share of the total humanitarian response grew from 17% in 2006 to 32% in 2010. NGOs have been the main channel for private support, experiencing a 70% increase in private funding from 2009-2010; an average of 57% of NGO income comes from private donors.
Velina Stoianova, Policy Advisor at Global Humanitarian Assistance and author of the report said, “Private funding has remained consistent despite a severe global economic crisis, so at a time when government resources are limited and maintaining response to the growing number of aid challenges is particularly demanding, private money has become the answer for many organisations. It is therefore imperative that we are able to gain as clear a picture as possible about the effectiveness of this funding source in responding to humanitarian needs and tackling vulnerability”.