More spending needed on disaster prevention: report
Governments and private donors should spend more on preventing humanitarian disasters instead of focusing on mitigating their effects, a research organization which tracks aid flows said Thursday.
“For every $100 we spend on major humanitarian recipients, only 75 cents is spent on disaster prevention and preparedness,” Jan Kellett, programme leader at Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA), told AFP while summarizing the non-profit group’s flagship report.
“We have to ask ourselves if that is the appropriate amount,” he said.
The annual report shows that between 2000 and 2010, world governments disbursed over $90 billion of humanitarian aid in respose to international crises, including 40 percent of which was spent in sub-Saharan Africa.
The figure would be much higher if donations from individuals and the private sector were included.
The report comes one day after the United Nations announced it would need more funds to provide relief to those affected by this year’s disasters.
Valerie Amos, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator, said the organization would need $7.9 billion in 2011, up $500 million from earlier estimates.
The GHA report shows that in Somalia, the epicentre of the current famine, 68 percent of all assistance in the past decade has been humanitarian relief.
Sudan had the second largest proportion of relief aid — 60.6 percent of all aid over over the past 10 years to the country has been assistance to people affected by disasters.
“I am not saying humanitarian aid is the problem,” Kellett said.
“And it’s not an issue of humanitarian versus development assistance.
“But one of the questions we must ask ourselves is: do we invest enough in disaster preparedness?” he said.