The climate crisis could break the disaster philanthropy model — what can donors do about it?

“Climate finance isn’t about charity, it’s really about justice.”

Why It Matters

Climate-related disasters are becoming more frequent, resulting in an ever-greater need for humanitarian relief and recovery funding. But experts say the quickened pace of climate-related calamities is leading to donor fatigue and stressing the global capacity for recovery.

It’s been one year since a storm the United Nations’ secretary general called a “monsoon on steroids” devastated Pakistan, killing more than 1,700 people and causing an estimated US$30 billion in damage — and experts say the donation pattern that followed the disaster offers humanitarian organizations a glimpse into the future of emergency fundraising campaigns.

Miranda Gallo, Islamic Relief Canada’s interim advocacy manager, describes the scale of the crisis as nearly “unfathomable” and notes more than 33 million people were affected — a population nearly the size of Canada’s. 

Canadians, like many others, opened their wallets to help, delivering life-saving tents, food kits and cash to those fleeing the destruction. But the need generated by the crisis has outstripped global donations,

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