For more details on Methodology click here. For more details on terminology click here.
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Last Updated 6th January 2024.

A quick caveat before going further: Protection here does not include other Protection domains. In addition to ‘General Protection’, there are another four related domains of Protection: Child Protection, Gender Based Violence, Housing Land and Property, and Mine Action. Three of these four have their own pages on this site. To find out more about these, please go to those individual pages. These different domains are called ‘Areas of Responsibility’. The funding analysed on this page is basically everything else that is not one of the four things above.

How much funding is the Protection sector forecast to receive in 2023?

Funding to the Protection sector is forecast to be between $1.3bn and $1.7bn in 2023. Our central estimate is $1.5bn. For reference, the Protection sector received $903m in total last year.

This forecast is based on our 95% probability range. In other words, we are 95% sure that funding will be between $1.4bn and $1.7bn. Below are the other forecast ranges for the Protection sector. As we become less sure about our forecast, the range narrows. So for example, we think there’s a 50% probability that funding will be between $1.4bn and $1.6bn.

But we need to put this into context. What does the forecast mean in terms of reaching the funding that is required for the sector (also known as the funding requirement)? The total funding requirement globally is determined by how much is needed in each context. If you hover over the donut below you’ll be able to see the chances of reaching 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the funding that is required.

We think that it’s almost certain that the Protection sector will receive 25% of its funding requirement, but there’s only a remote chance that the sector will receive 50% of the funding requirement in 2023. This is in part due to the large funding requirement in 2023.

How does the 2023 forecast compare to previous years?

The Protection Sector’s funding requirement was broadly stable from 2016 to 2020, starting at $1.15bn in 2016, and ending at $1.31bn in 2020. In 2021, the requirement increased significantly to $2.4bn, before rising to 2023 to $3.4bn. We think this is, in part, as a result of Protection being more visible in the financial data for Refugee Response Plans (as opposed to any ‘real’ increase in funding needed).

One feature in terms of the funding requirement is the dip in funding in 2018. The funding required declined from $1,187m in 2017 to $964m in 2018, equivalent to a 19% drop in the funding needed (the third lowest growth of any sector in that year). One possible explanation of this could be the growing visibility, and therefore increasing funding requirements, of Child Protection (CP) and Gender Based Violence (GBV) as distinct sectors. In 2017, the CP and GBV sectors only had a combined funding requirement of $5m. The following year, this then exploded to a combined funding requirement of $309m for CP and GBV. So in short, Protection declined by $223m and two Protection AoRs increased by $304m.

Similarly, the Protection sector received less funding in 2018, and this may be due to more funding being received into CP and GBV sectors. The combined funding for these two AoRs in 2017 was $17m, which increased to $128m in 2018. The Protection sector’s funding declined $79m in the same year.

Zooming out from the 2017 and 2018 period for a moment, and we can see that funding increased across the period from $372m in 2016, to $903m in 2022.

But how does this relate to need? The funding gap started to slowly close in 2019 and 2020. But this widened dramatically again in 2021 to a 78% funding gap, before reducing slightly to 68% in 2022. This is quite concerning when we think about the Centrality of Protection in Humanitarian Action. A 68% funding gap means that many affected populations are not receiving needed services. Lots of humanitarian crises are protection crises. The high funding gap raises the question: to what extent is Protection actually at the centre of humanitarian action?

We’ve come up with a way of defining what a ‘real humanitarian recession’ is, and we’ve defined it in this story as two consecutive years of a growing funding gap. The positive news is that Protection has already had one year of a closing funding gap – so what is expected to happen in 2023?

We think that it is almost certain that this trend will continue, and that the Protection sector funding gap will close again in 2023.

How does the 2023 forecast compare to other sectors?

The Protection sector is forecast to rank 7th of all humanitarian sectors in terms of funding received, between Nutrition and Education. This places Protection firmly in the ‘top-half’ of sectors, which tend to have $800m+ in funding received and $3bn+ funding requirements.

The current state of things

By the end of December 2023, the sector had received $1.2bn, over twice the amount the sector had received at the same point in 2022. This is also beyond the amount received in the whole of 2022.

Funding to the Protection sector in 2022 hit new highs. Whilst previous years show the sector receiving between $500m-$600m, the sector received quite a bit of funding in Q3 and Q4 in 2022, leading it to surpass expectations and post a record year in funding. Comparatively, the previous few years were quite similar in terms of their funding trajectory.

Features of the Protection sector in 2022

The average Protection Response received only 30% of the funding requirement in 2022. This isn’t ideal – this means that the average Protection Response lacks roughly 7 out of every 10 dollars that it needs. On the other hand though, this is actually the 6th highest across all sectors, and higher than the average across sectors (25%). Significantly, 13 contexts received over 50% of their requirement, including Haiti (2502%), Burundi (423%), Afghanistan (225%), CAR (115%), Chad (96%), the Madagascar Flash Appeal (96%), and Nigeria (93%).

However, at the other end of the spectrum there are a lot of contexts receiving very little. 14contexts received less than 25% of their funding requirement.

The sector as a whole is quite unequal, with some contexts receiving a lot of funding, and some receiving really not much at all. We’ll try to measure just how unequal the sector is in the future with the creation of an ‘Inequity Index’, and to benchmark against other sectors as well. We’ll also try to explain the causes of the inequity. Could it be due to the size of the funding requirement, donor preferences, under reporting, how recent the emergency is, or other factors?

The Protection sector has become less diverse in its funding mix in the last year, with the US Government share of donor funding leaping from 23% in 2021 to 38% in 2022. The next top donors to the sector are the Swiss Government (12%), ECHO (11%), the UK Government (8%), and the Belgian Government (6%). In total, there were 81 donors contributed to the Protection sector in 2022.

We can measure the diversity of a sector using the Herfindahl Hirschman Index. On a scale of 0 to 10,000, a sector is unconcentrated and competitive with a score under 1,500. The Protection Sector had a HHI score of 1,804 in 2022. This means the sector is moderately concentrated.

Turning our attention to those who received funding, UNHCR received a quarter of the funding (27%), followed by the Red Cross/Red Crescent (23%), and IOM (10%). This isn’t that surprising given that UNHCR has cluster lead agency responsibilities for Protection.


The usual health warning: FTS doesn’t capture everything. It is a platform that relies on voluntary reporting by organisations. But it is the most comprehensive source of data for humanitarian funding.

For forecast methodology, click here. We’ll be keeping a record of all our forecasts and success over time, which you can find here.

To find out methodology and sources for other things on this page which aren’t the forecast, click here.

Note: Numbers in ‘The current state of things’ graph may differ from elsewhere on the page as the data was extracted on a different date (8th July 2023) than other numbers that also show how much was received (i.e. the column chart).