from Africa in Transition

Ten of Top Twenty Emergency Aid Recipients are African States

December 22, 2016

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A survey by IRIN, an independent, non-profit news agency now separate from the UN, lists the top twenty recipients and donors of emergency aid. Citing the OECD, it reports that total emergency aid spending in 2016 was $22 billion, about 16 percent of the $131.6 billion in total international aid spending.

Syria and Iraq top the list of twenty emergency aid recipients. The ten African states are: South Sudan (4), Ethiopia (6), Somalia (10), Sudan (11), Democratic Republic of the Congo (12), Nigeria (14), Chad (16), Central African Republic (18), Zimbabwe (19), and Uganda (20). The others are in the Middle East (Yemen, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Palestine) or south Asia (Afghanistan and Pakistan). For the first time, an EU-member state is on the list: Greece.

IRIN ranks donor countries by the size of their contributions to emergency aid and also by percentage of their national income. The United States is by far the largest donor in absolute terms, about $6 billion. The European Union (EU) is number two. However, in addition to contributions through the EU, certain members made additional, substantial contributions directly from their own national budgets: Germany (3), the UK (4), Sweden (8), Netherlands (12), and Denmark (14). Adding the contributions of EU-member states to that of the EU collectively makes them the largest donor. Other major non-EU donors were Japan (5), Norway (6), the United Arab Emirates (7), Canada (9), Saudi Arabia (11), and Switzerland (13).

If the criteria is percentage of donor national income devoted to emergency aid, the list looks different. Norway (1), Luxembourg (2), United Arab Emirates (3), Sweden (4), Denmark (5), Germany (6), Kuwait (7), UK (8), Ireland (9), and Saudi Arabia (10). The United States is only sixteen.

It is no surprise that emergency assistance donations are mostly from the United States and the EU, plus Japan, Canada and the rich Gulf States. Emergency assistance recipients are found in war zones, essentially in the Middle East and Africa.

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