How can we prevent the suffering of millions? Fund local NGOs directly

The Guardian

Last week, the UN launched the biggest aid appeal on record. The amount requested by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – $20.1bn (£13bn) – is five times the amount requested just a decade ago.

Faced with escalating conflicts and disasters and a growing number of affected people, we need to ask whether current approaches to aid and development are really the most effective ways to prevent the suffering of millions of people.

The data suggests not. The number of people in need of aid has more than doubled in just over a decade, according to OCHA.

So where is the money going? Not, unfortunately, into the hands of those on the frontline. Despite existing among the poorest and most vulnerable populations, and with a unique understanding of the communities they serve, local and national NGOs received just 1.6% of total NGO funding between 2010 and 2014.

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