ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than seven million people around the world taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. According to the organisation, the world’s response to meeting the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people has been inadequate.
It says that the international community needs to think bigger and move faster in addressing current crises, and investing in development and stability to prevent the next one.
Firstly, if current trends continue, by 2030 the costs of humanitarian assistance are projected to double to $50 billion. Furthermore, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) – a global initiative for the United Nations – estimates that low- and lower-middle-income countries may need some $1.4 trillion annually in order to achieve the 17 Global Goals by 2030. Yet despite the immense need, both development and humanitarian needs remain vastly underfunded.
Secondly, developing countries host over 86% of the world’s refugees. The spotlight has been on Europe over the past year, but it may be surprising to hear that the majority of the world’s displaced people are living in countries with far fewer resources than Europe or the US. The top 10 refugee-hosting countries are all developing nations. This goes to show how critical it is to invest in development to help promote stability and prevent future crises, in addition to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people wherever they are.
Thirdly, the proportion of aid that donor countries spend on assisting refugees at home has tripled since 2010, while the proportion of aid they have spent in the poorest countries has declined in the same period, creating a deadly trade-off. The money that countries spend on assisting refugees at home (in-donor refugee costs) can be counted as official development assistance (ODA), and represented 9.1% of total ODA in 2015. ONE’s analysis finds that for some donors, it represents over 20% of their total aid budget, meaning countries like Sweden are now the single biggest recipients of their own aid budget. This is shocking, and these costs should not divert crucial funds from the same budget meant to support the poorest people in the poorest countries. We must fully support refugees at home, while also meeting our development commitments.