At the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016, the main humanitarian actors - governments, UN agencies and NGOs - agreed on a road map for reform of the international humanitarian system. They called it the Grand Bargain. Recognising that local, Southern-based humanitarian actors receive only a tiny fraction of total donor funding for emergency relief, the Grand Bargain set a target for rectifying this lopsided distribution of resources: 25 per cent of funds should be channelled through local actors by 2020.
In a series of articles, Development Today has followed this evolving discussion. It is technical, but at the heart of the matter is a raw struggle over some USD 5 billion in humanitarian funding between UN agencies and Western NGOs that now dominate and Southern-based actors that have been promised a greater share of the pie.