The year 2008 has been a year of significant global challenges ranging from devastating natural disasters to escalating food and oil prices, and from worsening conflict situations to a world-wide financial crisis. The good news is that donors have responded quickly and generously to the increased humanitarian funding needs. A total of $10 billion in international humanitarian funding has been recorded this year, outpacing all previous years except 2005 which was marked by the response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami. $4.7 billion have been contributed to projects in Consolidated and Flash Appeals (67% of the total funding requirements in these appeals).
The world food situation has changed dramatically in 2008 as a result of numerous factors. The most critical was the sharp increase in food prices, which affected millions of people around the world. Food stocks diminished as well. These conditions have greatly worsened access to food for many populations and have led to a complex set of challenges – humanitarian, socio-economic, developmental, political and security-related.
Record-high oil prices during the first half of the year resulted in food crops being increasingly diverted for use as fuel, and the high oil and energy prices also impacted the entire value chain of food production. The potential consequences are a worldwide rise in malnutrition rates, increased poverty and vulnerability among millions, and risks of economic and political instability. This, combined with the deepening global financial crisis which is straining government budgets, is likely to unravel traditional safety nets and increase humanitarian needs in the coming year.
Within this rapidly changing environment, humanitarian organisations have worked tirelessly throughout the year to respond to the most pressing needs of millions of vulnerable people around the world affected by sudden-onset disasters and protracted crises.
2008 has seen a number of major natural disasters: Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, a massive earthquake in China, drought and floods in the Horn of Africa, floods and landslides in India and Nepal, a devastating hurricane season in the Caribbean, and floods in South and Central America. In addition, the situation in several ongoing emergencies deteriorated dramatically. Renewed fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has killed many and caused hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. Insecurity in other countries including Somalia, Afghanistan, Chad, Pakistan and Zimbabwe caused increased hardship for millions of vulnerable people.
Despite the many challenges faced during 2008, much has been achieved. Donors have contributed faster and more generously than in previous years, enabling humanitarian actors to better respond to the most urgent needs. In 2008, the United Nations and non-governmental humanitarian organizations have aided tens of millions of people with emergency food aid, vaccination, medical care, emergency schooling, safe water and sanitation, and protection. Now, for 2009, these organisations appeal jointly for $7 billion to continue to save lives, preserve safety and health, and restore dignity.
The 2009 Humanitarian Appeal culminates a dynamic process in which some 360 aid agencies in 31 countries across the world have come together to respond to emergencies in a strategic, coordinated, efficient and effective manner. The $7 billion(1) that aid agencies jointly seek can meet the most pressing needs of 30 million people in Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kenya, the occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa, and Zimbabwe. This may seem like a huge burden to bear for donor countries, but in fact it translates, for every hundred dollars of the rich countries' national income, to just a few cents of aid – a few cents that can ensure the survival, protection, and well-being of the poorest and most vulnerable people in this world. We therefore urge the donors to make an extra effort this coming year in the face of likely budget constraints and ensure that humanitarian action in 2009 is fully funded.
Consolidated Apeal funding requirements, 2009
Amidst current uncertainty on global financial markets, concerns about humanitarian funding in the coming year are prominent. Recent studies have shown that after each previous financial crisis in a donor country since 1970, the country's aid has declined. However, no United Nations agency has yet reported a slowdown in contributions and several key donors have already pledged to stand by their commitments. In 2009, Norway's total development aid budget, including humanitarian assistance, is expected to reach 1% of GNI for the first time. Other donors, such as Sweden and Denmark, have also indicated that they do not expect the global economic crisis to influence their humanitarian aid budgets. As for the largest humanitarian donor, the United States, annual foreign assistance is expected to remain the same or possibly even increase in 2009.
In the spirit of Good Humanitarian Donorship, all donors must be held accountable for upholding their humanitarian commitments in the coming year. In 2009, humanitarian agencies will continue to be challenged by ongoing crises, by the need to adapt to an increasing caseload of food-insecure people, and by the likelihood that the trend of increased climate-related disasters will continue. Sustained donor support for humanitarian efforts is therefore crucial as we strive to meet life-saving needs in a rapidly changing global environment.
Table of Contents
SECRETARY-GENERAL'S FOREWORD TO THE HUMANITARIAN APPEAL 2009
GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS
FLASH APPEAL OVERHAUL
MAJOR ADVANCES IN CAP PRIORITISATION AND NGO PARTICIPATION
HUMANITARIAN FINANCE INNOVATIONS: A NATURAL PARTNER FOR THE CAP
HUMANITARIAN FUNDING OVERVIEW 2008
2009 CONSOLIDATED APPEALS
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
occupied Palestinian territory
ANNEX: DETAILED FUNDING TABLES FOR 2008 AND 2009
Please note that appeals are revised regularly. The latest version of this document is available on http://www.humanitarianappeal.net
Full project details can be viewed, downloaded and printed from www.reliefweb.int/fts
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