This topic includes reports and resources on a wide range of issues related to humanitarian financing such as accountability and transparency, partnerships, funding mechanisms and relevant policy discussions.
All Updates on Humanitarian Financing
by Christina Bennett
The international humanitarian system is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy, not only because it lacks the capacity and funds to respond to the volume and complexity of current humanitarian needs, but also because the “authorizing environment” has changed: the system no longer represents the interests of today’s humanitarians or is able to instill trust in aid recipients.
The unintended consequence of limiting humanitarian work because of counterterrrorism efforts in hot spots such as Somalia and Gaza is that it brings more suffering to civilians, said Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the humanitarian NGO Norwegian Refugee Council.
“There was one case of a group who thought they could not give school feedings to kindergartens anymore because the headmaster was seen as being part of Hamas. Of course, a baby is a baby. A baby is neither left or right, or Islamist or Christian. A baby has needs, and those need to be covered.”
The modern international humanitarian system is being tested like never before. Built on a philosophy that espouses universality and integrity of humanitarian principles, the system now faces crises and conflicts that are changing in nature, an increased humanitarian caseload, and a renewed assertiveness on the part of host states.
From New York to Tokyo to Kabul and beyond, donors and recipients of foreign assistance, especially those country recipients coming out of conflict, are having frank conversations about aid effectiveness. Donors are feeling the pinch of tight budgets and grumbling taxpayers. Recipient governments complain of competing donor priorities, while their people watch money flow to costly foreign contractors and/or local government corruption.
Amid much fanfare, the “New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States” was endorsed by forty-one countries and multilateral organizations at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, on November 30, 2011. The culmination of two years of work by members of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, the New Deal was hailed as a major breakthrough in efforts to seek a new approach to development assistance to fragile states.