UK aid performance hit by low ranking on protecting human rights

London, Nov 29, IRNA , Britain was ranked ninth out of 23 OECD countries in the first Humanitarian Response Index (HRI) published Thursday.

Top of the index, launched in London by former UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan, was Sweden, followed by Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and the European Commission. The US was ranked further down in 16th place.

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Briatin was highlighted to have a strong track record working with humanitarian partners, in generous funding to multilateral organisations and their appeals and in supporting contingency planning and capacity building efforts.

But it was found to underperform other countries in implementing instruments related to international humanitarian law and human rights as well as ranking low on protecting human rights and supporting primary role of civilian organizations.

Annan, who is the current president of the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum. Said the HRI will serve as a “crucial tool to ensure that no disaster is ignored, and that every dollar spent helps those most in need.”
The index was developed by Madrid-based DARA International, aiming to improve the quality of development aid and humanitarian action by contributing to the efficiency of strategies and global actions.

It offers detailed information about the practical nature of donor aid, analysing donor strengths and weaknesses with the aim of establishing more effective, responsible and transparent design and implementation of future strategies.

Dara director general Silvia Hidalgo said the HRI was “not meant as a name and shame exercise, but rather as a tool to improve the quality of humanitarian aid.”
“This Index gives a voice to the millions of people affected by crises who have little say in what they receive, if they are fortunate enough to receive aid at all,” Hidalgo said.

It comes at a time of ever-growing natural disasters and conflicts, such as Darfur, with humanitarian aid forming an evermore important component of wider international assistance.

Last year natural hazards were said to have affected over 130 million people and caused the death of more than 20,000 whilst the number of internally displaced persons amounted to 24.5 million.