Category Archives: Humanitarian

The Inequality and Injustice of Humanitarian Funding

Author and guest blogger Sophia Ayele discusses key lessons from Oxfam’s new report, The Indian Ocean Tsunami, 10 Years On: lessons from the response and ongoing funding challenges

Oxfam’s research report, The Indian Ocean Tsunami, 10 Years On, examines the record breaking tsunami funding response and asks why we don’t see this level and speed of response for every emergency.

In the days and weeks after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, humanitarian organisations were overwhelmed with generous donations. The UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) combined funding appeal raised a record-breaking £392m ($613m), bringing in eight times more in two months than the DEC’s Sudan appeal, which had been running for four times as long. Governments also responded generously, with 99 countries contributing to the response, including 13 that had never before made a recorded contribution to a disaster.

In all, an estimated $13.5bn in donations poured in from the international community with an unprecedented amount (roughly 40%) from private individuals and organizations – making the tsunami the highest-ever privately funded response.

Why don’t we see this type of response for every emergency?

The report draws one overarching conclusion – humanitarian funding is often based on factors other than humanitarian need.

                         Humanitarian Funding Compared with Number of People AffecteduntitledFunding data from UN FTS database http://fts.unocha.org/. Number of people affected from UN appeal documents for individual emergencies.

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Empathy in the Time of Ebola

Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (@rivefuentes)

It isn’t pretty when privilege is combined with fear and lack of empathy. It leads to poor decision-making. That’s what came to my mind when reading yesterday about the second case of Ebola arriving in the United States. A young doctor was confirmed with Ebola in New York city towards the end of last week.

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