GHA Report AID POLICY: Record donor aid, record costs
DAKAR, 20 July 2011 (IRIN) – Institutional donor aid in 2010 was at its highest-ever level – US$16.7 billion – but so were aid costs, says aid watchdog Development Initiatives in its annual Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report, released today.
The report, which looks at aid year-on-year over the past decade, also shows that disaster preparedness is consistently sidelined; and that emergency aid is spent in the same countries year-on-year, begging the question: is it the right solution to the problem?
Largely responsible for the boost in aid were the USA, Canada and Japan, according to the GHA. Their increases offset the declining aid budgets of a number of donors, including the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Korea, Portugal and Ireland – all of which watched their aid budgets shrink for the second year in a row.
Donors outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) [www.oecd.org/dac/] also gave more: between 2005 and 2009 their foreign assistance more than doubled from $4.6 billion to $10.4 billion, according to a second Development Initiatives report by Kerry Smith: Non-DAC Donors and Humanitarian Aid: Shifting Structures, Changing Trends.
But the additional funding does not go as far as it used to: price rises in food and fuel have “put pressure on the system and reduced buying power”, said GHA programme leader Jan Kellett. Fats and cereal costs more than doubled between 2007 and 2008, and continued to rise throughout 2010, while the cost of delivering them also continued to rise, according to Development Initiatives and the UN.
The UN estimates international food prices reached an all-time high in February 2011.
This and other factors meant the unmet needs in UN emergency appeals “worryingly” grew from 30 to 37 percent, according to Kellett. UN appeals for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Chad, Central African Republic and Uganda all experienced a widening in their funding gaps in 2010, according to the report.
Another area of unmet need was disaster preparedness and risk reduction, which received just 75 US cents out of every $100 spent on aid, according to Development Initiatives, reaching just $835 million in 2009.
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