Elsewhere online
May 20, 2016

Humanitarian Aid Reached Record $28 Billion in 2015

Governments and private donors around the world gave $28 billion for relief work last year, a record total and the third consecutive annual increase, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports, citing new data from a British research group. Philanthropy accounted for $6.2 billion in humanitarian aid, a 13 percent increase from 2014, according to data released by Development Initiatives in the run-up to next week’s inaugural World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey.

Despite an overall jump of 12 percent in aid funding, need appears to be rapidly outpacing giving, with United Nations-led humanitarian appeals falling 45 percent short of their targets. The best-funded crisis zone was Iraq, with 74 percent of humanitarian appeals for the country being met. Gulf nations are a major driver of the rise in giving, with aid from the Middle East and North Africa jumping by more than 500 percent in the last four years.

Ahead of the May 23-24 summit in Istanbul, the Associated Press looks at innovations charities and aid agencies are testing to deliver high-impact, low-cost help to people affected by conflicts and disasters, such as a debit-card system developed by the World Food Program for Syrian refugees in Turkey to obtain food aid for their families.