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Private funding of humanitarian aid: is this the future?

Time (GMT +01) 15:00 16:30

Saleh Saeed - CEO of Disasters Emergency Committee


Sophia Swithern - Programme Leader, Global Humanitarian Assistance

Steven A Zyck - Research Fellow, Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI

Jordi Passola - Fundraising Coordinator, Médecins Sans Frontières

Jane Smallman - International Programme Manager, Disaster Relief, Business in the Community


Private giving from individuals, foundations and corporations is an increasingly important source of funding for humanitarian assistance. As humanitarian needs grow and the budgets of many traditional donor governments reduce, aid agencies are looking to a diverse set of new funding sources in both established and emerging economies. The responses to the crises in Syria and the Philippines have highlighted this rich mix.

Over a quarter of all international humanitarian assistance came from these non-state sources between 2008 and 2012. In total, financial contributions from private sources amounted to an estimated US$4.1 billion of humanitarian assistance in 2012, representing 24% of the total international response. Factoring in non-financial contributions, such as goods, personnel and expertise, would bring this total much higher.

So what is the real value of private giving and what are the benefits in comparison to other sources of funding? Who are the key current and new actors and do they hold the answer to the future of humanitarian financing? What role can and are emerging economies playing? And how can the accountability, coordination and effectiveness of all these diverse resources be improved?

Join our panel event on 29th April for the launch of Development Initiatives’  Global Humanitarian Assistance Programme’s latest study: Humanitarian Assistance from non-state donors- what’s it worth?

The event will also feature findings from ODI and the Humanitarian Futures Programme’s research into the roles of business and the private sector in humanitarian crises, emergency preparedness and response.