The international community needs to think bigger and move faster
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The international community needs to think bigger and move faster

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There are 900 million people in the world living in poverty, an estimated 125 million people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance, and 60 million displaced people who’ve been forced to flee their homes.

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Women in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya in April 2016.

But these aren’t the most shocking statistics. What’s more shocking is how inadequate the world’s response has been to meeting the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people. Ahead of the first World Humanitarian Summit taking place next week in Istanbul, Turkey, ONE’s newest report lays out how 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.

The report, Financing Stability: How Humanitarian and Development Assistance Must Rise to the Challenge includes these surprising findings:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Read the report to find ONE and partners’ recommendations for ensuring the world has the necessary resources to respond in real time to disasters and invest in the long-term human security of everyone on the planet.

Tell Congress to help protect the world’s most vulnerable people, including refugees.

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