Follow the Money: Investing in Crisis Prevention
What the data tells us about how Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom & the European Union are spending money to prevent crises.
Who spends what to prevent which crises? And do these investments happen early enough? Based on open-source spending data between 2004 and 2019 and a review of six crises that saw timely early warnings, this study takes stock of international investments in crisis prevention efforts. In 2017, world leaders pledged to increase prevention spending, but we have found no evidence of real change. In fact, prevention spending remains far below the UN/ World Bank targets. It is also scattershot: most country portfolios are too small to matter. For most case studies, we find that even blatant warning signs triggered no or very late reactions. But there are also positive exceptions, which inform our recommendations to governments, legislators, activists, and scholars who seek to make crisis prevention more effective.