Welcome to the Future of Humanitarian Financing

Sudan FHF

The Future of Humanitarian Financing is an initiative to bring fresh thinking and expertise from beyond the humanitarian sector to address the growing problem of how we, as a global community, can meet the ever increasing costs of responding to humanitarian crises. Traditional approaches to financing humanitarian response are falling increasingly short of the mark and despite an overall increase in spending on humanitarian response, the gap between funding and requirements continues to grow. The international humanitarian response system is stretched beyond its capacity. A decade ago, the international response system assisted 30-40 million people annually; by 2013 this had risen to 50-70 million. Out of the five appeals launched by the UN to respond to the five current major level three (L3) emergencies only one is fully funded. The ‘business as usual approach’ cannot continue if we hope to adequately and effectively meet the humanitarian needs of crisis-affected people.

The rising scale of needs, our collective inability to resolve protracted crises, and the interplay of new risks have led to a global deficit in the operational and financial capacity of governments and humanitarian organisations to respond. This deficit has highlighted the need for a change in the way we look at humanitarian crises


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2013


The Future of Humanitarian Financing hopes to address the problem of financing humanitarian action by exploring new models and approaches within and beyond the humanitarian sector. The initiative will bring together experts from diverse backgrounds including financial services, public sector management, marketing, science, ICT and academia, each with a different and unique perspective of financial models and humanitarian response, in a series of dialogues taking place in London, Amman, Bangkok and Dakar in conjunction with on-going online discussions, designed to investigate new and emerging models.

The dialogues will also inform a more radical reform agenda by contributing to the longer-term evolution of the humanitarian sector that will be explored at the UN Secretary General’s World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in 2016. Exploring new and emerging models of financing humanitarian action which could be employed in the next few years will provide practical and applicable solutions to the current issues of humanitarian funding and also influence how the sector evolves to better meet the needs of people affected by humanitarian crises.  The outcomes of the dialogues will be packaged and communicated to influential policy-makers and will also feed directly into the Humanitarian Effectiveness and Innovation work-streams of the WHS.

In order to continue to effectively respond to humanitarian emergencies we need new ideas, collaborations, approaches, tools and resources. If you’d like to join this global dialogue then please register your interest on the cross-sector dialogues page or join our online discussion @futurehf.




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