The UK’s humanitarian response to COVID-19

A forthcoming review that will assess UK emergency support for populations in humanitarian need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Status: In progress
  2. Last updated: 4 November 2021
  3. Type: Full review
  4. Subject: Humanitarian assistance
  5. Location: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Yemen
  6. Lead commissioner: Tamsyn Barton
  7. SDGs covered:Zero hunger, Good health and wellbeing, Gender equality

Latest news

We are conducting an assessment of the UK’s humanitarian response to COVID-19. We have published our approach paper and we are currently gathering evidence – see the ‘approach’ tab. We expect to publish this review in summer 2022.


The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the most geographically widespread and arguably most complex crisis in modern times. While its impact has been global, its effects have been uneven. Some countries and regions have fared better so far in containing the pandemic, while others have faced – and continue to face – acute public health emergencies.

The UK has played a substantial part in the global response as a major humanitarian donor. By January 2021, the UK had committed £1.3 billion to fight COVID-19 globally. Of this, 90% was channelled through multilateral institutions and global appeals.

This review will assess the UK’s emergency support for populations in humanitarian need as a result of the pandemic and contribute towards lesson learning as the impacts of the pandemic continue.

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals relevant to this review are:

  • Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero hunger
  • Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and well-being
  • Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender equality



Published 4 November

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Expected summer 2022

Further scrutiny

To be confirmed