Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) has launched a new report: Aid investments in disaster risk reduction – rhetoric to action. This provides the latest comprehensive analysis on leading government donor’s investments in reducing risk of humanitarian disasters.
Disaster risk reduction (DRR) often in conjunction with emergency preparedness, climate change adaptation and resilience building has become an increasingly common element of donor policy particularly following the adoption of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) at the UN’s World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Japan in January 2005. The rise in prominence of DRR in many government donors’ policy agendas comes at a time when incidences of disasters related to climate change are increasing and the impact of disasters on an increasingly populous, urban and globally interdependent world is set to become even more difficult to deal with. This comes at a time when there is a continued downward pressure on many aid budgets and the need to extract more value from every aid dollar spent.
In March 2012, the GHA programme published ‘Disaster risk reduction: Spending where it should count’, which examined the levels of donor investment in DRR in the period 2000-09. The report found that despite the rhetoric, just 1% (US$3.7 billion) of total ODA had been spent on DRR in 40 of the world’s poorest and most disaster-affected countries.
Using the latest available data, our new report continues this analysis of ODA investments in DRR in the period immediately following the adoption of the HFA, and looks in detail at the policies and investment profiles of 24 of the leading ODA donors.
Following the HFA, a number of countries have written specific policy documents focusing on DRR. Many now recognise DRR within their development and humanitarian policies, and have expressed their support at the UN International Strategy of Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Global Platforms for Disaster Reduction in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Others have demonstrated their financial support to the two main international bodies in relation to DRR, namely the UNISDR and the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
Our analysis of donor contributions suggests that despite positive inroads in promoting DRR on the global agenda – a gap persists between rhetoric and policy recognition on the one hand and action and investment on the other.
The report uses recommendations put forward at the 2009 Global Platform (that 10% of humanitarian funding should be allocated to DRR and development spending should constitute at least 1%) to measure donors DRR expenditure over the period 2006-10.
We found that the majority of donors continue to allocate only a small proportion of their aid budgets to DRR. Only 2 donors out of 24 have spent 10% or more of their humanitarian aid budgets on disaster prevention and preparedness and only 3 have spent more than 1% of their development expenditure.
Our analysis again highlights the complexity and difficulties in trying to quantify donor investments in DRR. The current data sources available do not supply a readily available and robust tool for analysing donor commitments. Improvements in the quality of donor reporting are essential if we are to have clarity around who does what in this space.
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