The OCHA Regional Office for the Caucasus and Central Asia (ROCCA) tracks humanitarian funding flows in the region. ROCCA works with Governments to reflect their contributions to emergency funds and humanitarian efforts via the UN Financial Tracking Service (FTS - fts.unocha.org).
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are emerging as significant donors; they are breaking regional aid patterns and working closely with international humanitarian mechanisms. Both countries have supported the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and the Emergency Response Funds in Haiti and Pakistan.
Kazakhstan is the region’s top contributor to CERF, ranking forty-fourth on the list of CERF’s global donors. Since the Fund was established in 2006, Kazakhstan has given US$274,964. Azerbaijan is the next biggest donor: it has contributed $60,000 since 2006. In 2012, only Kazakhstan and Tajikistan contributed to CERF.
Over the past six years, countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia have provided over $67 million in humanitarian aid to at least 21 countries, including Bulgaria, Haiti, Japan, Somalia and Samoa. However, the top five recipients of the region’s support are countries in the region: Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. Donors in the Caucasus and Central Asia usually provide support to places far outside the region in exceptional cases, such as when a large-scale disaster kills thousands of people and leaves even more homeless and scrambling for survival.
Countries in the region overwhelmingly give aid directly to affected Governments, sidestepping multilateral mechanisms such as appeals and pooled funds. In the past six years, $55 million out of $67 million in aid from the region was provided bilaterally.
In-kind aid is another trend in the region. On average, close to 90 per cent of all outgoing aid is in-kind, as the region prefers to send food, tents, non-food items, medicines and construction materials.
Humanitarian aid flows into the region
The current situation in the Caucasus and Central Asia does not render massive donor attention. In the past, the region faced serious emergencies, such as the Georgia-Russia conflict in 2008, the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan energy and food security crisis in 2008, and the Kyrgyzstan civil unrest in 2010. The international humanitarian community implemented five Flash Appeals in response to natural and man-made disasters in the region. On average, the Flash Appeals were over 60 per cent funded. Since 2006, the region has received at least $575 million in humanitarian aid, as reported to FTS.
Despite the absence of an ongoing humanitarian crisis, the region is still home to a number of serious humanitarian concerns and related development issues, including IDPs and refugees, food security and health issues. Climate change poses additional risks to areas spared in the past: flash floods sweep through unprepared settlements and storms wreak havoc in cities. These events highlight the importance of paying due attention to the Caucasus and Central Asia. In 2012, the region experienced an above-average number of small- to medium-scale emergencies, including earthquakes, floods, mudflows and extreme temperatures.
Donors including the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), Canada, Germany and Norway invest in disaster risk reduction initiatives, often with a regional focus, to ensure that communities are better prepared to deal with and recover from disasters. In 2011 and 2012, donors gave over $43 million to the region, the bulk of which went towards strengthening preparedness in countries at risk.
Since 2006, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan received 94 per cent of all incoming aid, thus topping the region’s aid-recipient list. During the same period, all three countries faced emergencies that required comprehensive humanitarian support from the international community.
For more information on humanitarian financing, read our published Regional Humanitarian Funding Updates and subscribe to automatically receive new updates.