Private foundations, public charities, corporate giving programs and individual donors contributed $45 billion for disaster relief and humanitarian crises in 2017, according to a new report from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Candid, a merger of Foundation Center and GuideStar.
Global disasters in 2017 included magnitude 7.1 and 8.1 earthquakes that struck Mexico within two weeks of each other. Famines in Africa and civil unrest in Yemen and Syria led to a surge in the number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people.
In the U.S., 2017 was the costliest year of natural disasters on record, according to the report, with wildfires in California and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
The CDP’s annual report identified $504 million in funding by foundations and public charities for disasters and humanitarian crises, based on Candid’s database, which includes transactions by U.S. and non-U.S. donors.
The analysis showed that disaster-related funding doubled from 2016, based on a year-over-year analysis of grantmaking by 1,000 of the biggest U.S. foundations.
Natural disasters accounted for 65% of disaster funding, half of it going to storms and many donors responding to the three big hurricanes.
Among disaster assistance strategies, 64% of funding went to response and relief efforts, and 17% toward reconstruction and recovery. But just 2% each was allocated for resilience measures and disaster-preparedness measures.
“The data confirms that philanthropy responded generously in a year of devastating disasters in the U.S.,” Grace Sato, Candid’s director of global projects and partnerships, said in a statement.
“It also highlights funding gaps and opportunities for donors to give more strategically in areas — like disaster preparedness and long-term recovery — that are typically underfunded.”
Thirty government members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee contributed a total of $21 billion of development assistance for disasters and humanitarian crises in 2017, about $1.4 billion more than in 2016. Non-DAC government donors and multilateral organizations chipped in an additional $1.9 billion.