The past decade has seen a sharp increase in the level of humanitarian need globally, a response to an upsurge in conflict and climate change related natural disasters. The UN estimate that almost 168 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Given the scale of need, donors have increased their level of humanitarian assistance in recent years. Total global humanitarian funding grew from an estimated $22.2 billion in 2014 to an estimated $28.9 billion in 2018.
Ireland has also increased its level of assistance in response to growing needs. Over the three years 2016-2018 Ireland contributed a total of over €559 million in humanitarian response.
As well as the scale of funding, the efficiency and effectiveness of international humanitarian response is also vital. Ireland is a strong champion of the multilateral system, and has worked closely with the UN Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in improving the coordination of the international humanitarian response. In the period 2018-2019, Ireland was Chair of the OCHA's Donor Support Group. In this role, Ireland led discussions with the UN and key donors on improving the effectiveness of the international response to major crises. Ireland also worked closely with OCHA during its own process of reform and reorganisation, helping to improve its ability to effectively coordinate humanitarian responses.
Since June 2019 Ireland has been co-Chair of the ICRC's Donor Support Group. In this role Ireland will lead discussions with the ICRC and other major donors on improving humanitarian response, notably with regard to protracted humanitarian crises, and ensuring a gender sensitive approach to humanitarian emergencies.