MILITARY COSTS v. HUMANITARIAN NEEDS
For obvious reasons, several news outlets have dubbed 2015 – and no doubt 2016 also ‐ as the Year of the Refugee. In May 2015 the UN Secretary‐General established the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, in preparation for the Global Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul in May. The Panel analysed both needs and resources in this area and assessed the gap as around $15 billion:
The world spends today around US$ 25 billion to provide life‐saving assistance to 125 million people devastated by wars and natural disasters. Despite the generosity of many donors, the gap between the resources needed for humanitarian action and the available resources is increasing…
More recently OCHA assessed the overall needs as $20.1 billion. At the same time the world’s governments spent $1776 billion on the military sector. It is unfortunate that when the Panel considers that “the deficiency in global aid could be solved by implementing new policies designed to tap into creative sources of funding” it does not point to the elephant in the room.