ICAI published its review on the UK’s approach to funding the UN humanitarian system in December 2018, and awarded a green-amber score, making five recommendations.
There has been a sharp rise in global humanitarian need over this decade, driven by large-scale conflicts in Syria, Yemen and South Sudan and the mass expulsion of Rohingya people from Burma. In response to deteriorating global humanitarian conditions, the UK’s humanitarian aid has grown more than 200% since 2011, reaching £1.56 billion in 2017-18.
Approximately half of this money is spent through UN humanitarian agencies. The UN humanitarian system is large and complex, with overlapping mandates and inbuilt inefficiencies. Many efforts have been made to reform the system, including, most recently, commitments to the ‘Grand Bargain’ in 2016.