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GHA Report 2014


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Report Synopsis

How much is spent on humanitarian assistance? Is it enough? Where does it go? How does it get there and what is it spent on? Knowing who is spending what, where, and how is an essential first step in ensuring that resources can best meet the needs of people living in crises – yet this information is often hard to access.

To answer these questions, the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Report 2014 uses unique methodologies to gather and analyse data to provide the most up-to-date and comprehensive picture of global humanitarian financing. We have produced this report annually since 2000, to provide a shared and independent evidence base for anyone engaged in providing, using and understanding assistance in crisis settings.

The report looks back on an extraordinary year – in terms of both the scale of high-level crises and in the levels of response – and sets it in the context of trends in humanitarian assistance. 2013 was marked by high-profile crises in Syria, the Philippines and the Central African Republic, as well as high levels of need both on and off the international radar including in South Sudan, Yemen and the Sahel.

You can find a summary of our key findings on page 3 of the report and also download the summary infographic. These include:

  • The level of international humanitarian response rose to a record US$22 billion in 2013. Government donors accounted for three quarters of this, contributing US$16.4 billion – a rise of 24% from 2012.  Private sources provided an estimated US$5.6 billion – a 35% increase from 2012)
  • Despite this, over a third of estimated humanitarian needs went unmet: UN-coordinated appeals targeted 78 million people for assistance in 2013 and called for US$13.2 billion in funding. 65% of this funding appeal was met
  • 78% of humanitarian spending from OECD DAC donors went to protracted emergencies in long- and medium-term recipient countries. Most long-term assistance is also spent in countries with high levels of poverty and low levels of government spending.

As well as more detail on this and other core analyses, this year’s report also introduces new sections on critical areas including:

  • The timeliness and duration of funding – examining the data on both the speed of response to new or escalating crises as well as funding to protracted crises
  • Detail on the resources, humanitarian and beyond, that touch the lives of crisis-affected people –including development assistance, government revenues and remittances
  • The need for better data, both on resources and the impact of crises on different groups of people.

We are always pleased to hear from you, so do share with us your feedback and ideas for how we can get better data or make it more useful. You can also join the discussion on twitter #2014 GHA  and @GHA_org.


The GHA Report 2014 includes interactive features to help you navigate the report and access further information to use and share. We recommend that you view this document as a PDF rather than in a web browser, to allow you to keep your place in the document after viewing charts/infographics on the website.

Navigating the report

  • Contents – go straight to any chapter or section from the contents list
  • Home – go back to the contents list from any page by clicking the home icon
  • See more – go straight to recommended pages by clicking links (eg ‘See Chapter 9) shown in different coloured text
  • Bookmarks – open the bookmarks pane in your PDF viewer to enable easy browsing via a static contents list

Further information

  • Notes – open notes boxes by positioning your cursor over the coloured circles in the text (notes are also listed from page 135)
  • External links* – click web addresses to go straight to the websites
  • Download charts and data* – go to the chart page on the GHA website by clicking the download icon

*Note you need to be connected to the internet to use these online features.


You can download chapter-by-chapter data and PDFs, charts, infographics and ‘In focus’ sections

  • Executive summary text and infographic – PDF
  • Executive summary in French – PDF
  • Executive summary in Arabic – PDF
  • Chapter 1 – Who was affected? Data PDF
  • Chapter 2 – How much was given and was it enough? Data PDF
  • Chapter 3 – Where does it come from? Data PDF
  • Chapter 4 – Where does it go? Data PDF
  • Chapter 5 – How does it get there? Data PDF
  • Chapter 6 – What is it spent on? Data PDF
  • Chapter 7 – How quickly and for how long? Data PDF
  • Chapter 8 – What other resources are important? Data PDF 
  • Chapter 9 – Better information for better response PDF
  • Chapter 10 – Data & guides Data PDF

You can view and download individual infographics and charts in our tools section

In focus sections highlight areas of particular interest:


18 Comments in total

  1. Francisco Toro says:

    Is it possible to get an embargoed copy of the report?

    01/09/2014 10:01 pm

    • Kerry Smith says:

      Hi Francisco,

      We can send you a hard copy. Please send us your address to and we will post one out to you in the next couple of weeks.


      11/09/2014 11:45 am

  2. Asomaning Odei-Mensah says:

    I will appreciate your effort to furnish me reports.

    18/09/2014 2:33 pm

    • Becky says:

      Someone will be in contact shortly.

      18/09/2014 3:09 pm

  3. Marco Simonelli says:

    apart from the event at the Hilton Nairobi hotel on Thursday 30 October 2014 ,
    do you will have also a presentation of the GHA 2014 report in Europe?


    01/10/2014 5:41 pm

  4. Becky says:

    Hi Marco,

    Information about our European launch events will be available shortly.
    Please email me at becky.carley[at] and I will make sure you receive the relevant information once available.

    Many thanks


    08/10/2014 11:01 am

  5. Peter says:

    In Ch. 3, there are several “Top 20”-charts. Is it possible to access your aggregated data for all the countries in the world? Specifically I am thinking of figure 3.2 (p. 27).

    Kind regards,

    09/10/2014 4:10 pm

    • Becky says:

      Hi Peter,

      Someone will be in touch with a response to your query shortly.

      Many thanks


      14/10/2014 12:59 pm

  6. Peter2 says:

    Hi, I read the report thoroughly and there are only 20 main donors of humanitarian aid mentioned, while all other countries area completely left out of the calculations. There are no detailed tables showing the breakdown of aid to specific countries. What is the purpose of publishing such incomplete data? I wanted to calculate all the aid coming from EU Institutions and the particular Member States and there is no such option. This report is absolutely useless for me, your data is incomplete.

    14/10/2014 11:08 pm

  7. DATE:
    24/12/2014 1:27 pm

  8. From Poverty to Power » Every key stat you could possibly want about humanitarianism, emergencies etc – please steal says:

    […] has consistently failed to meet one third of the humanitarian need outlined in UN appeals. (Source: Development Initiatives) At $4.7bn, 2013 saw the largest shortfall since 2000 between the amount requested and the amount […]

    16/01/2015 12:12 pm

  9. Asomaning Odei-Mensah says:

    Thanks a lot I have received a hard copy of the 2014 Report. I am very grateful and very much appreciative of your gesture. I would also want to know whether my NGO, ‘Global Humanitarian Network’ can be affiliate of your organisation? Please, let me hear from you. Regards

    09/02/2015 5:30 pm

  10. Vieraskynä: Humanitaarinen apu – kuinka se toimii | Ulkopolitist says:

    […] apu maksaa rahaa. Suurin osa siitä tulee valtioilta. Kun on tutkittu humanitaarisen avun myöntämistä luonnonkatastrofeihin, on todettu, että apua […]

    12/02/2015 11:36 am

  11. Will the World Humanitarian Summit pass the accountability test? | Keystone Accountability says:

    […] but the single best way to promote greater effectiveness in what, according to the 2014 report from Global Humanitarian Assistance, is a Euro 22 billion a year […]

    16/02/2015 7:46 pm

  12. The Product of Systems | Humanicontrarian says:

    […] of humanitarian NGOs. Congrats to the likes of MSF and Save and (of course) Oxfam. Here’s Development Initiative’s excellent financial analysis of the humanitarian system (see p. 55ff): National and local NGOs form an essential part of the […]

    19/03/2015 2:08 pm

  13. The Importance of Data | Expanded Foundations in Global Health says:

    […] to the 2014 Global Humanitarian Assistance Report, the US spent over $22 billion in disaster response and relief efforts in 2013. Additionally, the […]

    06/05/2015 9:54 am

  14. Outcomes of the ‘Interactive Dialogue on Humanitarian Financing’ ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment (HAS), | Future of Humanitarian Financing says:

    […] Kyung-wha Kang, opened the ‘Interactive Dialogue on Humanitarian Financing’ organised by the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) programme together with Future Humanitarian Financing (FHF) at ECOSOC HAS yesterday, by stating that new […]

    22/06/2015 8:11 am

  15. Asomaning Odei-Mensah says:

    I am still waiting for my response to the affiliation to the Global Humanitarian Assistance. Thanks.

    02/06/2016 2:40 pm

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In 2015, the world will agree on a set of sustainable development goals. The first goal is the eradication of extreme poverty. The evidence is clear: chronic and extreme poverty is inextricably linked with vulnerability to crisis. We hope that the data and analysis in the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2014 will inform serious deliberation on how to break this cycle.- Judith Randel

Report Breakdown

Executive summary

Chapter 1: Who was affected?

• Humanitarian needs, 2013?

Chapter 2: How much was given and was it enough?

• What is humanitarian assistance?
• International humanitarian response
• Unmet needs
• In focus: Requirements per targeted beneficiary in UN-coordinated appeals
• Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement appeals

Chapter 3: Where does it come from?

• Government donors
• In focus: Japan
• Donors outside the OECD DAC group
• In focus: Gulf states
• Private donors
• In focus: NGO fundraising coalitions and Typhoon Haiyan
• Domestic governments

Chapter 4: Where does it go?

• Top recipients
• In focus: 2013 ‘Level 3’ emergencies
• Forgotten crises
• In focus: Forgotten crisis: Myanmar

Chapter 5: How does it get there?

• Channels of delivery
• Funding to UN agencies
• Pooled funds
• Funding channelled through national NGOs
• In focus: NGO-led pooled funds
• Military channels

Chapter 6: What is it spent on?

• Types of expenditure
• Funding by sector in UN-coordinated appeals
• Cash transfers
• Disaster prevention, preparedness and risk reduction
• Gender

Chapter 7: How quickly and for how long?

• Speed and timing of response
• Long and medium-term humanitarian assistance
• In focus: Multi-year approaches and the Somalia
• Financing for resilience
• Poverty and long-term humanitarian assistance

Chapter 8: What other resources are important?

• Resources available to countries in crisis
• Remittances
• Official development assistance
• Development expenditure on conflict, peace and security
• Peacekeeping
• In focus: Public and private support in risk financing
• Climate financing and disaster risk reduction

Chapter 9: Better information for better reponse

• Better information about risks and needs
• Better information about financing flows

Chapter 10: Data & guides

• Methodology and definitions
• GHA’s unique calculations
• Data sources
• Acronyms and abbreviations
• Reference tables
• Notes