(Formerly called IRIN) Journalism from the heart of crises

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  • Myanmar levels former Rohingya villages to build camp for returnees

    Myanmar has bulldozed entire Rohingya villages to make way for a massive camp at the centre of a stalled plan to house returning refugees, an analysis of new satellite imagery shows.

    One rights group describes the imagery as evidence of an escalating push to demolish former Rohingya land and militarise vast swathes of northern Rakhine State – the flashpoint for violence that last year drove out more than 671,000 Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh.

    An analysis of satellite images done for IRIN by UNOSAT, a United Nations programme that produces humanitarian mapping, shows extensive land clearance and new construction near Hla Poe Kaung village in Rakhine’s Maungdaw Township. Myanmar authorities have identified the area as the site of a planned camp that would house returning Rohingya refugees.

    The imagery shows that over seven weeks, from early January to late February, at least four villages in the area were almost completely levelled, leaving little trace of the Rohingya homes that once stood there. At least 110 new buildings and what appear to be two helicopter landing pads were constructed in that time, according to the analysis, which estimated that at least 240 hectares of land had been cleared.


    (Swipe the image to compare: The image on the left shows a view of the repatriation camp near Hla Poe Kaung village on 9 January. The image on the right shows construction at the same site on 27 February. Image credits: ©2018 DigitalGlobe, Inc. Satellite imagery analysis by UNITAR-UNOSAT)

    The activity near Hla Poe Kaung mirrors extensive clearance and reconstruction across northern Rakhine – part of what rights groups say is an attempt to dramatically reshape the landscape in the aftermath of last year’s Rohingya exodus. Amnesty International on Monday released satellite images it said showed large-scale bulldozing and new infrastructure – including at least three new military bases – being built around the northern townships. It also showed roads and buildings emerging over Rohingya land and villages that were torched and emptied last year.

    “Burnt Rohingya homes and markets are being bulldozed, and surrounding trees and farmland cleared away,” Matt Wells, Amnesty’s senior crisis advisor, told IRIN. “Where Rohingya villages stood months earlier, the Myanmar authorities are constructing new security force bases, roads, and other infrastructure.”


    DigitalGlobe / UNITAR-UNOSAT
    According to an analysis of satellite imagery, new construction near Hla Poe Kaung includes at least 110 new buildings and two possible helicopter landing pads. Rights groups say Myanmar has built up excessive security infrastructure in northern Rakhine.

    Human Rights Watch says that Myanmar authorities have cleared more than 55 former Rohingya villages across the state in recent weeks.

    Authorities in Myanmar have framed reconstruction as part of a broader scheme to develop the impoverished northern Rakhine region. The new camp emerging at Hla Poe Kaung is a central part of a controversial repatriation plan for Rohingya refugees, which has languished for weeks after a late January start date fizzled. Myanmar authorities have said returnees will be housed temporarily in Hla Poe Kaung.

    SeeUN, aid groups debate Myanmar internment plan for Rohingya refugees

    But the satellite images show parts of the Hla Poe Kaung camp are built directly over the remnants of Rohingya villages that were damaged or destroyed during last year’s violence. Rights groups and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh say Myanmar’s military and neighbouring ethnic Rakhine villagers torched homes and killed civilians, emptying the state’s northern townships of most of its former Rohingya inhabitants. Myanmar authorities say the military was responding to attacks on border outposts by a group of Rohingya fighters

    (Swipe the slider to compare: Much of the latest clearance and construction in the Hla Poe Kaung area overlaps with damage identified in a previous analysis of satellite images taken between 31 August and 11 October 2017. Image credit: ©2018 DigitalGlobe, Inc. Satellite imagery and damage analysis by UNITAR-UNOSAT)

    The widening footprint of the Hla Poe Kaung repatriation camp shown in satellite images aligns with on-the-ground reports from Rohingya who had been living in the area until mid-January, according to the Arakan Project, a rights monitoring group. Sources told the group that 12 families were living under plastic tents on the site of their former homes, which had been razed in last year’s violence. Later in January, however, authorities pushed the remaining families out by force, according to Chris Lewa, the group’s director.

    “Authorities first informed villagers that there will be a camp for returnees in Hla Poe Kaung,” Lewa told IRIN. “They brought bulldozers to level the ground and destroy whatever was left standing after the arson attacks, including mosques and trees in the people’s yards.”


    Arakan Project
    Authorities cleared remaining Rohingya from an area near Hla Poe Kaung village in January 2018 before bulldozing the land, according to the Arakan Project, a rights monitoring group.


    Cape Diamond/IRIN
    Labourers work at a new construction site near Hla Poe Kaung village in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State in late January 2018.

    Myanmar authorities have refused to allow independent investigations into last year’s violence and continue to place heavy restrictions on aid groups operating throughout Rakhine. The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, says it has been barred from accessing the worst-hit parts of northern Rakhine since last August, when Myanmar’s military crackdown began.

    Across the border in Bangladesh, hundreds of thousands of refugees remain thronged in cramped settlements. Aid groups say the looming cyclone and monsoon seasons pose a grave risk to people in those sprawling camps.


    Myanmar levels former Rohingya villages to build camp for returnees
  • Mapped: How monsoon rains could submerge Rohingya refugee camps

    Tens of thousands of vulnerable people living in rickety homes in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps will be threatened by landslides and floods as the monsoon season nears, according to officials in the densely packed settlements.

    Data released by aid groups shows that floods could submerge one third of the land in the cramped Kutupalong-Balukhali mega-camp, which is now home to more than half a million Rohingya refugees.

    Using drone images, historical rainfall data and interviews with local residents, researchers have estimated the risks of floods and sudden “landslide failure” throughout the complex warren of interconnected streams and sloping hills. The risk analysis, released in late January, estimates that more than 86,000 people live in high-danger flood areas, while more than 23,000 live along steep, unstable hillsides that could crumble with continuous heavy rainfall.

    Aid groups and Bangladeshi authorities say stabilising the most at-risk homes in the camps is a top priority ahead of the monsoon season, which typically begins in late May. The current dry season offers only a small window of opportunity before the rains set in – and some fear time is running out.

    More than 688,000 Rohingya surged into Bangladesh after a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August 2017. Overwhelmed by the influx, Bangladeshi authorities ushered most of the new arrivals to a giant mega-camp sprawled between existing refugee settlements, then home to roughly 100,000 people.

    At the time, local NGOs and aid groups warned of the risks of amassing large numbers of people on unstable land. But, over the ensuing weeks, the camp exploded in size as Rohingya settled in, carving homes into the surrounding hillsides or digging in to low-lying land near rivers and streams.

    Many Rohingya arriving in the camps pieced together their makeshift homes from tarpaulin sheets and scraps of bamboo.

    In December, IRIN reported on early plans to prepare for the looming cyclone and rainy seasons. Aid workers warned that much of the infrastructure built over the past weeks could be swept away by a powerful storm or the monsoon rains.

    ”It's going to be a disaster within a disaster; we're going to have to restart," said Graham Eastmond, who coordinates aid groups working on organising shelter in the camps. "The monsoons themselves are going to create a whole different landscape to what exists now."

    SeeA disaster within a disaster: cyclone fears in fragile Rohingya camps

    The new risk analysis estimates that floods and landslides could damage one quarter of washrooms and latrines in the main mega-camp and nearly half of the current sources of tube-well water. Other essential services hastily put in place during the influx are also at risk: makeshift classrooms for children, nutrition centres, and almost one third of health clinics – a particular concern given the already high risk of disease outbreaks in the cramped settlements.

    Aid groups also warn that heavy floods and landslides could wash away roads and pathways, cutting off large parts of the camp not submerged by the rainfall.

    The priority now, according to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, is to upgrade as many of the Rohingya homes as possible with stronger bamboo and better building techniques. Authorities are also looking into the logistics of moving the most at-risk homes. But this involves major work to level off steep hillsides and find useable new land – extremely difficult when space is at such a high premium. Already, aid groups working in education say the threat of monsoon season could see the permanent closure of dozens of learning centres in flood-prone areas, shrinking classroom space for 10,000 children.

    With the monsoon season fast approaching, aid officials are stepping up warnings that the window of opportunity to prepare is rapidly closing.

    “We are running out of time,” said Zia Choudhury, Bangladesh country director for the NGO CARE.

    (TOP PHOTO: A group of Rohingya children gather on a bamboo bridge in Kutupalong makeshift settlement in Bangladesh’s Cox's Bazar District on 11 January 2018. A risk analysis shows monsoon rains could submerge about one third of the land in Bangladesh’s largest Rohingya refugee camp. Thomas Nybo/UNICEF)


  • Six charts that show Afghanistan’s deepening insecurity

    Civilian casualties in Afghanistan continue to soar as the country’s security situation deteriorates, according to the latest statistics released by the UN mission.

    The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA, recorded more than 8,000 civilian casualties this year from January until the end of September, placing conflict-caused deaths and injuries at near record-high levels. The numbers have trended steadily upward over the last eight years even if the latest data represents a moderate drop from last year’s peak.


    UNAMA attributed roughly two thirds of the casualties to anti-government forces – mainly the Taliban and self-proclaimed Islamic State groups. Civilian casualties blamed on government-aligned forces dropped by 19 percent over the same time period a year ago. However, deaths and injuries caused by airstrikes continue to rise: the mission documented 466 casualties from aerial attacks — a 52 percent increase.

    The US has escalated airstrikes in Afghanistan under President Donald Trump; the US military launched 751 airstrikes on Taliban and IS targets in September, in what the US Air Force called “a record high month for weapons employed in Afghanistan since 2012”. But the UN has warned that less political oversight over airstrikes, and Trump’s strategy to increase troops in the country, could usher in “a more volatile landscape” in the months ahead. Airstrikes in late August killed at least 28 civilians in Herat and Logar provinces, according to the UN.


    The latest UNAMA figures also show that anti-government forces continue to deliberately target religious figures and places of worship — particularly minority Shia Muslims. Civilian casualties from such attacks have skyrocketed over the last five years. UNAMA said this amounts to “disturbing trends of intentional killings” targeting religious leaders and others seen as supporting the government. IRIN recently reported on how moderate imams preaching peace have become targets.

    Casualties caused by attacks against religious targets spiked in 2016; the 84 deaths recorded in the first nine months of 2017 are already nearing the mark set for the whole of last year.


    The enduringly high casualty numbers suggest the Afghan government may be paying a high price for its strategy to concentrate on defending areas with larger populations, while the Taliban makes gains in rural areas seen as less vital.

    “This change has led to an increasing number of clashes for control over lines of communication and vital infrastructure,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a September report to the Security Council. “In addition, the more secure hold of the Taliban over some rural areas has allowed them to undertake more frequent attacks in the north of Afghanistan.”

    The Afghan government’s physical control of its own territory has steadily eroded over the last two years. In a 30 July update, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which reports to the US Congress on how American funding is spent, said that less than 60 percent of the country’s 407 districts were under government control or influence. The government had control or influence over 72 percent of its districts as recently as November 2015.


    Amid the simmering conflict, violence continues to displace Afghan civilians. Conflict has forced some 287,000 Afghans to flee their homes so far this year – part of a steady increase shown over the last eight years.


    While insecurity climbs, the national mood in the country is at a record low, according to the Asia Foundation, which conducts annual public opinion surveys in Afghanistan. Almost 70 percent of respondents said they fear for their personal safety – the highest level in a decade, according to the most recent poll.



    Six charts that show Afghanistan’s deepening insecurity
    Soaring casualties, death by airstrikes, attacks on mosques, and the government’s increasingly slippery control over its own territory
  • Hurricane versus Monsoon

    US media last week mentioned Hurricane Harvey at least 100 times more than India. Outside the United States, media produced three times more about Texan flooding than Asia's in recent days. Monsoon floods on the other side of the world are worse than Harvey, but aid agencies say America's crisis is sucking up all the attention. Using open data, IRIN has quantified the relative online news coverage and found yawning gaps. 

    It is important to note that headlines and news coverage are only part of the picture. Fundraisers know that some things will always resonate more with the public and studies show that donors are motivated by far more than just media. Academics differ on how much influence the "CNN effect" really has on international aid funding.

    However, based on previous experience, Harvey will generate a huge outpouring of public donations at home, while faraway crises have to fight harder for attention and money. 

    Alison Carlman of GlobalGiving, an agency that fundraises for many often smaller non-profits and mostly in the United States, put it like this: "We're raising money for both floods. South Asian flood orgs have raised just over $12K. Our Harvey Fund is at $1.69M now. The Sierra Leone mudslides have raised $55K."

    This month, the South Asian floods have hit India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, which are facing exceptional weather and massive humanitarian impacts. Floods across the three countries have affected some 41 million people (That's about 10 times the total population of Metro Houston), according to the UN.

    In Asia, some 1,200 deaths are reported. In the United States, the death toll is slowly rising and currently stands at 38. 


    GDELT, a huge database of online news from around the world, automatically tags articles with their topics and geographic focus. Of about 30 million stories it scanned, some 200,000 covered natural disasters so far this month. 

    The GDELT data can help answer the question: How much attention have the Asian and American floods got at home and abroad?

    First we compared coverage of India, Bangladesh, and Nepal with coverage of the state of Texas. Not surprisingly, US media shows an explosion of coverage since Harvey emerged. The level of coverage of the Asian disasters is so much smaller it is almost insignificant by comparison. 

    According to this data, at its peak, Texas coverage in the US is about 160 times that of the Asian flooding.


    Another database, MediaCloud, counts the number of words in articles produced by a range of US media. We searched the last week of news in US media for the word "flooding" and looked at the word counts. The graphic below represents how many times the top 500 words appear.

    The word "Houston" appears 100 times more than "India".

    The Rest of the World

    Did the rest of the world's media do a little better at keeping an eye on Asia? 


    So far, the GDELT data suggests that non-American media have kept up some coverage of the Asian flooding, despite throwing resources at the Harvey story.  

    The gap here is smaller – when Harvey was drenching Texas, it got three or four times as much coverage as the Asian disaster. 

    There's no pretty way to say it: loss, pain, and drama make for compelling news. Especially when it's from home. 

    Update: How did India's media cover Harvey?


    If the US media is not paying attention to floods in Asia, what about the other way around?

    How much coverage did Indian publications give to Harvey? The answer is: some, about a third, of the coverage of natural disasters at home.




    (TOP PHOTO: Floods in India. Credit: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)


    Using data to check media bias
    Forgotten floods
  • Someone was forced to flee their home every second in 2016

    A new report estimates that more than 31 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2016.

    Refugees have special status in international law, but if you're forced from your home and stay within your country's borders, you're classified as an "internally displaced person" – an "IDP" – with no guarantee of protection or assistance. There are at least twice as many IDPs as refugees at any given time, but internal population movements are fluid, of varying duration, and hard to track. Humanitarian support to IDPs often lacks the resources of better-recognised refugee operations.

    According to estimates by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, natural disasters forced 24 million people to move in 2016. Seven million of those were in China alone. Looking at the number of displaced people relative to population size, the data shows the 15 countries most affected:




    The largest population movements were concentrated in six countries where 19 million displacements due to natural disasters took place. Hover for more details:



    Someone was forced to flee their home every second in 2016
  • UPDATED: Mapped - a world at war

    This map of ongoing conflicts around the world is part of IRIN’s ongoing series on the world’s forgotten conflicts. Our package of stories, films and graphics has so far looked in-depth at the situation in Sudan's Blue Nile, Myanmar, the border states of southern Thailand and more. Go to our Forgotten Conflicts page to read the features or click on each button and zoom in and out to find out more on the world’s conflicts:



    Today's wars. On one map.
    Mapped: a world at war
  • US funding for the UN - in charts

    The vast bureaucracies of the US government command a budget of about $4 trillion. Most foreign affairs activities are captured in budget line 150 – and amount to about $50 billion annually.

    Media reports, leaks and off-the-record briefings from President Donald Trump’s administration suggest the new leadership is looking for savings of 37 percent from line 150, to be redirected to defence. Within that goal, the administration wants to cut spending through the UN by half, although it may be phased over a period of three years, according to Foreign Policy. Experts and retired military officers have appealed for the government to reconsider, in the national interest, and analysts say Congress may yet trim the scale of these hypothetical cuts.

    In any case, broadly speaking, how much does the US really spend on international relations, aid and multilateral affairs, and where might the axe fall? IRIN recognises the complexity of US and UN budgeting and welcomes feedback or corrections.



    An annual report to Congress by the State Department summarises US spending on all international organisations. Its report for the last financial year, 2016, records $10.4 billion as the total expenditure. UN-related programmes, funds and agencies account for 84 percent, according to a review by IRIN. Others among the more than 150 grantees are other multilateral bodies such as NATO. Among the smaller items are a conservation body for the Atlantic tuna, and a handsome $6,000 for the Caribbean Postal Union. US contributions to the World Bank, IMF and other multilateral finance bodies are reviewed in a different annual report to Congress.




    The UN spending accounts for about $8.8 billion, according to IRIN’s review of the 2016 listing – more significant perhaps as political ammunition than in cash terms, given the size of the overall budget. Therefore a 50 percent cut would have to find over $4 billion.


    This UN spending can be divided into two main categories: assessed and voluntary. Assessed funding is obligatory on the member state, and each nation pays a share proportionate to their economy; the US pays the largest share. Its share of the core UN budget is 22 percent, and its share of any UN peacekeeping action is even higher, at 28 percent. This means that once a peacekeeping budget is approved by the collective UN members, the US picks up the bill for 28 percent, for the duration of the mission. 


    Member states can, and often do, fall into arrears on assessed funding, and the UN discreetly attempts to chase up payments from defaulters, while full details are not made public. The UN was owed $3.7 billion by its members, as of mid-2016. Chronic non-payment can lead to a suspension of voting rights. However, the US has been severely behind on its dues to the UN in the past without suffering the sanction of voting limitations.

    IRIN’s analysis of the State Department report finds that roughly $3.2 billion of the $8.8 billion spending at the UN is assessed. To reduce that part of the bill would require one of the following:

    • Closure or reduction of the related activity (for example, to shutter a peacekeeping mission)
    • Defaulting and allowing arrears to build up
    • An agreement from other member states that the US share should be reduced


    The first option can’t be pursued unilaterally and the third is a long way off as it is a long-standing formula regarded as blunt but fair

    "WFP and UNHCR are the biggest and the most vulnerable"

    To achieve short-term cuts, our analysis is that US officials will have to look at the voluntary portion. This is where most emergency and humanitarian spending falls: The big three of the World Food Programme, UNHCR (the UN’s refugee agency) and UNICEF (the children’s fund) together total $3.4 billion and significant savings cannot be made without reducing their budgets. Complicating matters is the long-standing convention that American citizens run WFP and UNICEF. Both positions are up for replacement. The US has proposed former South Carolina governor David Beasley to run WFP, while Tony Lake, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, sits atop UNICEF but is due to step down. A former USAID official said this week, “if US guts funding, we shouldn't get to appoint the chief. Period.” As IRIN reported in November, WFP and UNHCR depend on the US for about 40 percent of their budgets and therefore, in some respects, are both the biggest and the most vulnerable aid operations today.

    *Clarification: Membership in UN-affiliated agencies, funds and programmes also incurs assessed costs, but at much smaller amounts than membership of the overall UN. 

    So how would you find 50 percent cuts in overall spending? Mathematically, almost 80 percent of voluntary funding would have to go, assuming that reducing assessed spending would take longer to adjust. Trump’s cuts may meet with widespread popular support, and galvanise savings and more efficient behaviour from the UN, but the amounts are miniscule in the wider scale of US spending, say critics. Also 2017 is a tough year to slash emergency aid budgets. The two UN agencies looking down the barrel of the US cuts, for all their weaknesses, have a lot of responsibilities that UN member states cannot handle alone: Some 70 million people may need food aid this year, according to US-funded watchdog FEWSNET, while refugee and displacement numbers remain high at 65 million.

    The knives are out, explore the options:


    Note: Dark blue indicates mainly voluntary funding, grey shows mainly assessed.

    (TOP PHOTO: UN humanitarian convoy)


    Where will the US make deep UN spending cuts?
  • The biggest donors of 2016

    The most generous emergency aid donor in 2016 was Norway. Norwegian taxpayers provided $899 million in humanitarian spending, about 0.18% of their national income.  Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates took second and third place by the same yardstick. Last year, the top ranking went to Kuwait.


    The European Union and its members spent almost $10 billion on emergency relief this year, but some of that was spent for the first time inside the union, in Greece, raising questions of how to properly define and measure humanitarian aid.


    Figures collated by the UN in its Financial Tracking Service offer the most complete view of official international relief spending.

    Overall, some $22 billion of humanitarian spending was tracked in 2016, up from $20.9 billion in 2015, but not as high as the $23.5 billion reported in 2014. Emergency aid in 2015 formed about 16 percent of $131.6 billion in total international aid spending, according to the OECD, which tracks the largest donors.

    The big givers

    Where does it go?


    Top donor countries

    Norwegians may be the most generous relative to their national wealth. However, the largest single donor is the US, offering more than $6 billion in emergency aid. Given the size of its economy, it falls only in 16th place, behind minnows such as Finland, in terms of relative generosity.

    In absolute cash terms, the European Commission comes in second place, spending about half the US amount ($3.1 billion).



    Who spends it?

    And which aid organisations picked up the most funding in the year? UN agencies took 60% of the reported funding, while the Red Cross Movement picked up 10 percent, about $2.2 billion. The FTS data depends on voluntary reporting and does not capture some financial flows. The database reports $4.3 billion in funding for NGOs, but as NGOs rarely report their income from the public, this is likely to be a low estimate. The annual funding survey, Global Humanitarian Assistance, tracks five to six billion more dollars of charitable and corporate giving towards humanitarian causes, mainly spent through non-UN channels.


    The European Union


    Size matters to Europe. Its own website declares that “collectively, the EU and its constituent countries are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid.” We checked the claim.


    If we add the funding from EU member states directly, as well as the funds routed through the EU institutions, as well as contributions to the Central Emergency Response Fund, the contribution from “political Europe” comes to more than $9.9 billion – indeed nearly half (47 percent) of the world’s total. We also allocated $324 million of funding for the UN’s pooled fund, the CERF, to its original European donors.

    These figures exclude Norway, Switzerland, and other non-members of the EU. Only EU member state Croatia reported nil humanitarian funding to the UN in 2016. However, the other members contributed $6.8 billion.


    But... Greece?

    But here’s the thing: Europe is now “aiding” itself: with a tally of $422 million, Greece has received more “humanitarian aid” than Central African Republic. The EU expanded its definition of humanitarian aid to include situations within its borders, and decided to spend $328 million on Greece. And so ends another strange year in humanitarian economics.



    Highlights from $20 billion of 2016 humanitarian funding data
  • How Syrians are being killed

    Dozens of people were reportedly killed by US airstrikes in northern Syria last week in what may amount to the greatest loss of civilian life in the coalition’s two-year war against so-called Islamic State.

    UK-based group Airwars, which monitors coalition action in Iraq and Syria, estimated that between 74 and 203 civilians were killed on 19 July near the village of Manbij, where the US is backing rebels in their assault on IS.

    The higher number comes from sources Airwars considers less reliable.

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter said US Central Command would investigate reports of civilian casualties and “continue to do all we can to protect civilians from harm”.

    Airstrikes have long been a deadly facet of Syria’s war, with the percentage of civilian deaths they have caused reaching new heights after Russia began bombing in September 2015.

    "Fighting and violence have escalated across several parts of the country over the last few weeks resulting in widespread civilian deaths, injury and displacement,” top UN emergency aid official Stephen O’Brien said in a statement to the Security Council today. “Strikes, by all sides, continue to be launched on and from heavily populated areas from air and ground without regard for civilian presence."

    While finding out how many Syrians have died under what circumstances is extremely difficult, especially trying to distinguish between civilian and combatant, there are several groups doing the tough job.

    One of them, the Violations Documentation Center, said missiles hit its Ghouta office on 22 July.

    The VDC has been documenting the violence since the war’s onset more than five years ago. IRIN has used its data to produce a visual representation of which weapons are killing Syrian civilians, where, and when.





    How Syrians are being killed
  • Four graphs to show how the UN spent $17 bn

    The operational arm of the United Nations, UNOPS, has just published its annual statistical report on UN procurement, examining the spending on goods and services around the world by 36 UN agencies and organisations.

    It reveals that a total of $17 billion was spent in 2015, a rise of $400 million on the preceding year. But it also reveals that repeated calls for more procurement to come from the least developed nations have not yet been heeded, despite gains for some developing countries. There was an increase of two percent in total procurement costs in 2015, but an eight percent decrease in procurement from least developed nations, compared to 2014.

    These graphs show some of the major trends:


    Four graphs to show how the UN spent $17 bn

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