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DFID humanitarian allocations in Africa 2007/8

Africa Conflict and Humanitarian Unit (ACHU)

Summary of key findings

- Total spend in 2007/8 was =A3205m, a decline from =A3236m in 2006/7. However using adjusted figures the amount is broadly similar for both years. Both these years' spend was less than the exceptional 2005/6, when it peaked at =A3264m.

- Year on year trend: there has been a 10-15 % decline since the peak spend in 2005/6 of =A3264m.

- The top five recipient countries of DFID humanitarian aid are Sudan, DRC, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Somalia. Combined, these 5 countries received over 75% (=A3158m) of DFID's humanitarian aid. Public Service Agreement countries (PSA) received 80% of allocated funds.

- Expenditure by emergency type reveals that Complex Emergencies received 90% of DFID's funding, up from 78% in 2006/7. 10% was spent on natural disasters.

- Expenditure by sector is largely unchanged from 2006/7: food, health and water-sanitation were the main sectors, and combined accounted for 50% of DFID's humanitarian funds. Cash transfers grew by 400% relative to 2006/7, although they remain a small proportion of the total spend.

- Expenditure by agency: World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF and Pooled Fund Management Agent(1) together accounted for 54% of DFID's spend. Adding the next two biggest agencies, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), these five agencies received almost two thirds (65%) of all humanitarian spend in Africa.

- Biggest decline in funding: Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has seen a huge decline in funding that it has received from DFID: from =A37.3m in 2005/6 to =A32.5m in 2006/7 down to =A31.3m in 2007/8.

- The Red Cross family share rose from 7% to 10% of overall spend from =A316.6m in 2006/7 to =A319.9m 2007/8.

- DFID spent significantly less in 2007/8 on bilateral allocations / project allocations to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) - =A314.75 million less than in 2006/7, or a reduction of 7% of overall humanitarian spending. This is, at least in part, compensated through allocation by 'management agents'.

- Spending pattern: two thirds (=A3135m) of DFIDhumanitarian spending for Africa in 2007/8 was spent in just 2 months - January & March 2008. A large part of this was due to front-loading the Pooledfunds for DRC and Sudan, a positive indicator for the Good Humanitarian Donor (GHD) initiative.


1. This report, covering financial year 2007/8, is the third in a series of reports which examine Africa Division's humanitarian decision-making, taking available internal data as its basis. This 'raw' data on humanitarian allocations is provided by country offices and regional desks during the course of the DFID financial year.

2. The spend analysis is a short, annual exercise and deliberately limited in scope. It is largely a quantitative exercise, looking for patterns and trends in the available data. The data analysis has been supplemented by a literature review and a minimal number of interviews with DFID staff. Its aim, as in previous years, is to provide a breakdown of allocations, combined with analysis and discussion.

3. The report largely is a direct continuation of the analysis from 2005/6 and 2006/7. It presents a straightforward look at how DFID humanitarian funds were allocated across Africa, what the allocations were spent on, through what channels, where and when.

4. The 'Health Warning' applied in the 2005/6 version of this document still applies, as do all subsequent caveats about data quality and the lack of a standard approach to data handling between countries and between years.

5. In order to maintain consistency with previous years, the data includes DFID spend through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) by proportion(2) but does not include DFID spend through European Commission (EC) channels. As recommended in last years' analysis, consideration should be given to including this data.