In December, the ICRC launched its financial appeal to donors to cover its 2016 budget of about $1.5 billion, the largest in the organization's 153-year history. Given the number of complex and simultaneous crises, the increasing human cost, and the general incapacity of the international system to resolve armed conflicts, the humanitarian community is facing a number of serious challenges.
Current Humanitarian Challenges Contributing to the Budget Increase
Unexpected emergencies are unfolding alongside protracted and complex armed conflicts where violence and instability are both causes and consequences of recurring conflict. On top of already fragile contexts, there are natural disasters, environmental problems, urbanization, migration, and socio-economic crises, which further exacerbate situations of chronic hardship.
Non-State armed groups are no longer clearly defined entities with distinct political and security agendas similar to those in the late 20th century. Rather, they often operate in the vacuum left by increasingly fragile States, composed of varying combinations of formal and informal armed elements.
With few exceptions, almost all of the armed conflicts today are the result of the "conflict trap": conflicts engendering conflicts, the fracturing and multiplying of armed groups, new parties intervening in ongoing conflicts, and a lack of any viable political solution or international will to find one. The lingering character of these conflicts gives rise to long-term needs in terms of education, health care, food security, water, electricity, law and order, and more. Today's separation between humanitarian aid and development aid is no longer appropriate in contexts affected by long-standing conflicts where entire systems have collapsed - these catastrophes require sustainable engagement combining humanitarian and development investments.
2016 Budget and Response
In 2016, the ICRC will begin the year with twelve operations over 40 million, three of them are over 100 million (Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq). The top 10 (see below chart) represent 56% of the total budget. The ICRC will also be keeping a close eye on Yemen, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, and Burundi.
“This year, our operations will again focus on alleviating the suffering of people who need immediate help. At the same time, we will strive to bolster communities' resilience through longer-term programs. In Nigeria for instance, we are supporting widows with grants through local associations, helping them to become self-sufficient by running small businesses” says ICRC's Director of Operations, Dominik Stillhart.
In conjunction with the response to current and emerging crisis, the ICRC is also committed to accessing hard-to-reach populations in need, reducing the number of attacks on hospitals and healthcare workers, and responding to and preventing sexual violence in armed conflict.
To read the full 2016 Appeals, click here.