Mid-Year Review of the Humanitarian Appeal 2005

29 June 2005

The United Nations Secretary-General launched “Humanitarian Appeal 2005”, outlining key humanitarian issues and trends and summarising the 2005 Consolidated Appeals, in mid-November last year. This Mid-Year Review examines progress made to date in 2005, analyses some of the key challenges in humanitarian financing, and highlights remaining priorities in countries and regions with a Consolidated Appeal. 

Using the resources mobilised under the appeals up to 10 June 2005 (some US$ 2.4 billion cash and in-kind, equal to 48% of funding requirements for the year), much has been achieved: tens of millions of people have been fed; tens of thousands of square metres of mined land has been cleared; millions have been vaccinated against polio and other life-threatening infections; hundreds of clinics and health-care centres have been supported; seeds and agricultural tools have been provided for hundreds of thousands of farmers; hundreds of emergency education facilities function; hundreds of thousands of people have been temporarily employed; shelter has been provided and non-food items have been distributed to hundreds of thousands; hundreds of thousands of people have had their lives and rights safeguarded; safe drinking water has been supplied for hundreds of thousands; and, the immense relief and recovery needs of the victims of the Tsunami have been mitigated. Much more remains to be done.

Priorities from now until the end of 2005 vary by country or region, and readers are asked to refer to the individual Mid-Year Reviews that detail the priorities for the remainder of this year. In terms of financial requirements, the United Nations and its partners now require US$ 2.6 billion to address the urgent needs of some 30 million people in 29 countries.

Since 1992, on average, a CAP has ended the year 66% funded. Given that in the past Consolidated Appeals have included some projects bordering on recovery and reconstruction, and that funding has been made available for many clear humanitarian projects, it might not be inaccurate to state that priority life-saving humanitarian projects are on their way to being fairly well covered in 2005. Furthermore, the pace of donor response to appeals this year has been considerably faster than in 2004, and a clear improvement on years before. That said, the donor response to most appeals remains low: 36% excluding the Tsunami Flash Appeal. The verdict from the experience of the Tsunami is clear: donors are capable of large-scale, fast, and flexible response. Moreover, funding figures for crises away from the Tsunami show that donors are able to improve on the low level of resources provided by the same time in 2004, even in the face of a headline crisis. Now, the challenge is whether donors can live up to the high standards they established for themselves under Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) for all crises, not just the year’s biggest. Without additional resources, the relatively improved funding picture at mid-2005 will turn out at year’s end to be an illusion.

For the second year in a row, analysis of humanitarian financing shows no clear or consistent evidence to substantiate the oft-cited notion that the availability of money hinges on the media or strategic interests. So why do some appeals get funded more than others? And within appeals, why are some sectors more funded than others? There are many factors that can make a difference. These include: the quality of needs analysis and prioritised response; the extent to which non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Red Cross Movement, and the UN are working together; concerted involvement of the donor community; support provided by host authorities; and leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator.

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29 June 2005

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