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(WNN) Global: As the global economy begins to be reshaped by the new emerging powers, so too is the aid industry. IRIN news looks at the rise of the Bric countries, with South Korea joining counterparts Brazil, Russia, India and China as the new donors.
Brazil gave $35.6m in humanitarian aid in 2010, and $4bn in foreign assistance – equivalent to Sweden or Canada.
Humanitarian aid rose from $800,000 in 2009 to $36m in 2010. Brazil gave $28.9m in humanitarian assistance to Haiti, mostly through UN organisations.
As one of the world’s biggest agricultural producers, Brazil’s humanitarian aid focuses on in-kind food donations. The country also provides significant technical assistance in agriculture, health and education.
Overall, Brazilian foreign aid is approximately $1bn a year, according to the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research, which would put Brazil in the same league as India and China, with $1bn and $2bn, respectively, in 2006.
Most of Brazil’s development aid goes to Lusophone countries: Mozambique, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, as well as to states in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Haiti, Paraguay and Guatemala.
India has reported contributions of $56.5m in humanitarian aid since 2005, though this does not include unreported aid to Bhutan and Nepal.
The vast majority of aid goes to south Asia (76%), though the shares going to Africa and Latin America (3% and 4%, respectively) are growing. In south Asia, the largest recipients are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. India was the largest government donor to provide aid for the 2010 Pakistan floods ($25m) and a big donor to the 2005 Pakistan earthquake ($40m).
India prefers bilateral government aid but gives up to $1m annually to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund. In 2006, India was the World Food Programme’s 15th-largest donor.
In-kind food and medicines are India’s preferred aid channels (India is the world’s third-largest pharmaceuticals manufacturer). The country prides itself on its speed in disaster response: it was one of the first donors to release aid after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and 2010 Haiti earthquake.
The ministry of external affairs is the focal point for humanitarian aid, but different divisions dealing with donations can result in an ad-hoc aid approach.
Aid to Afghanistan is part of India’s “soft power” approach to push back Pakistani influence there and to secure access to natural resources – in competition with China.
Some 40% of the Indian population lives on less than $1.25 a day. Although India is a donor, it was the eighth-largest recipient of official development assistance in 2008 ($2.1bn) and fourth overall from 1995 to 2009.
Russia wants to be seen as a “re-emerging” donor in developmental and humanitarian aid. The country has given $140m over the past five years, mostly to countries in its immediate area of interest – Tajikistan, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.
Russian humanitarian aid is managed by the ministry of civil defense and emergencies to the Russian Federation (Emercom).
Russia often partners with non-western governments on humanitarian aid: for instance, delivering food to Haiti alongside Venezuela in 2010.
Russia is the biggest non-western contributor to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) though it only recently joined the Donor Support Group – comprising OCHA’s main government partners.
China has reported $107m in humanitarian aid to the UN Financial Tracking Service since 2005. Most of this was given bilaterally or to National Red Cross movements.
China’s search and rescue teams are among the most advanced in the world, certified by the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group.
Alongside India, China is one of the largest Global Fund recipients.
South Africa will spend about $3.5m on humanitarian aid in 2011 (appropriation bill 2010).
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), an initiative driven in part by South Africa, shapes foreign policy, emphasising regional co-operation with a strong developmental focus.
Most of South Africa’s aid recipients are within the Southern African Development Community.
A key aid channel is the African Renaissance Fund, administered by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation. It has helped fund conflict resolution and peacekeeping in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali.
South Africa is planning to launch its own aid agency, the South African Development Partnership Agency, to provide a new framework for its aid initiatives.
This is the only non-western donor that has entered all the major multilateral humanitarian policy and norm-setting fora; it joined the Development Assistance Committee in early 2010, subscribes to Good Humanitarian Donorship principles, and joined the OCHA Donor Support Group.
Busan, in South Korea, is the setting for the fourth global aid effectiveness forum in November 2011.
South Korea has contributed $114m in five years in humanitarian aid, according to the UN Financial Tracking Service, most of which went to Asia, with North Korea a clear priority, though the real figure is likely to be much higher than the $60mreported.
For more on aid policy, visit IRIN’s in-depth report, The rise of the “new” donors.
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