Humanitarian Organizations in International Disaster Relief: Understanding the Linkage Between Donors and Recipient Countries

  • Jiuchang Wei
  • Ao Wang
  • Fei WangEmail author
Original Paper


This study explores how humanitarian organizations (HOs) link donors and recipients in a disaster relief coordination mechanism. Based on an analysis of real data collected from the financial tracking service, our results show that disaster assistance through the HO channel greatly exceeds the funding delivered by the non-HO channel. The severity of the disaster is positively correlated with the involvement of HOs. Disaster-stricken countries that belong to the Non-Aligned Movement receive more assistance through the HO channel. The recipients with less international trade may attract more HO-channel funding, but higher international tourism expenditures also may result in more HO-channel funding. We also found that the determinants of the disaster relief coordination path vary greatly in terms of trade openness, political regime, and geographic factors. Based on the analysis of the primary humanitarian relief supply chain, the results show that some countries prefer to donate through large international HOs (e.g., Japan and Canada), and other countries favor national level organizations (e.g., the UK and the USA). Finally, to improve the efficiency of international disaster relief, the paper suggests a coordination platform that involves the main donors, frequent recipients, HOs, and a Global Information Network that can assist in coordinating disaster relief activities.


Humanitarian organization Disaster relief Donation Disaster coordination mechanism Natural disaster 



This study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Number: 71701198, 71921001 and 71828102), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (WK2040160028).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.International School of Business and FinanceSun Yat-sen UniversityZhuhaiPeople’s Republic of China

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