Why RealtimeAid?

Why RealtimeAid?

The humanitarian aid industry is worth a staggering $153 billion, yet less than two percent of those funds make it to local organisations and into local hands. This is more than a problem of who gets to control the money, it is a problem of aid effectiveness and usefully using available dollars to create real change for those experiencing crises and in desperate need of support.

Those who control humanitarian aid dollars are mostly Western governments, UN organisations and large multinational non-governmental organisations such as Save the Children or World Vision amongst others. This creates an incredibly power disparity where Western (and concomitantly ‘white’) money is given to formerly colonised or non-white peoples. The decisions about who gets that money, how that money should be used is made by outsiders to the crises who do not speak the local languages.

The Professionalisation of the humanitarian aid industry has also further lead to the need for Western educated professionals who have the technical skills sets and can negotiate the requirements of aid bureaucracy to be in leadership positions. Local people who understand their own communities best end up being forced to meet the demands of donors to get desperately needed aid money.

The Founders of RealtimeAid worked in the aid industry running a grassroots organisation and then headed a small professional international sports and refugee charity working with young people. Tarek Alsaleh, half Syrian, half German saw first hand the problems non-English speaking, local civil society had in accessing Western humanitarian funding. If they did manage to get any funding they then became swamped in paperwork, forcing them to focus on aid bureaucracy rather than solving essential problems in their communities.

The system of aid needs to be revolutionised because the current system does not work.