Transparency and finances

Notes on income and its origin

The annual accounts of Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe are extracted from the audited annual statement of the Protestant Agency for Diakonie and Development (Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e. V.) and the Protestant Central Office for Development Assistance (Evangelische Zentralstelle für Entwicklungshilfe e. V.).

Total income

Total income in the year 2021 amounted to 101.7 million euros and has, thus, more than doubled compared to the previous year (50.4 million euros).

The substantial increase of more than 50 million euros is largely the result of the enormous generosity of donors in response to the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, but is also due to a significant increase in funding from institutional donors. Funding from the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt – AA) and the German Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung – BMZ) both increased markedly by between 70 and 80 per cent to almost 20 million euros (2020: 11.3 million euros). Almost two-thirds of funding transferred by the BMZ relate to its budgets for transitional development assistance, infrastructure and crisis management and around one-third from its budget for church-based projects.

The net financial result increased to 1.9 million euros from the previous year’s level of 0.5 million euros.


Donations in 2021 more than doubled to a total of around 66.6 million euros compared to 28.6 million euros in 2020. Earmarked donations were primarily received in response to the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in mid-July 2021: a total of almost 39 million euros, of which 29.4 million euros came from the Action Alliance for Disaster Aid (Aktionsbündnis Katastrophenhilfe). Non-earmarked donations also increased again slightly compared to 2020 to almost 15 million euros (+3.3 per cent). Further earmarked donations were received for humanitarian disasters in the Middle East, especially those in Yemen and Syria and neighbouring countries, as well as for relief measures in countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Further donations were received for victims of the hurricane in western Haiti (around 1 million euros), refugee aid (around 0.7 million euros) and combating hunger in Africa (around 1.6 million euros). Donations were again disappointingly low for forgotten crises and protracted conflicts including those in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan and West Africa.

Brot für die Welt Emergency Fund

To enable Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe to respond immediately to forgotten disasters and reconstruction projects, it receives donations funding from its sister organization, Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) – the same amount as in the previous year.


Income from interest comes about because donations are allocated in instalments to project partners according to project progress. Until these funds are disbursed, the approved project related funding is invested in secure investments in compliance with strict internal guidelines. The resulting income from interest as well as from capital gains and market gains is ring-fenced and helps cover the cost of project support, advertising and administration. Compared to 2020 (0.5 million euros), the financial result in 2021, amounting to 1.9 million euros, was significantly higher. This is the result of a marked increase in net interest from income, an increase in capital gains on securities and a reduction in statutory write-offs on securities.

Public funding and third-party contributions

In 2021, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe received subsidies amounting to 44.2 million euros from the German Government and the European Union (EU) for publicly funded projects – an increase of almost 15 million euros compared to the previous year (29.2 million euros). Funding from the AA more than doubled from 8.6 million euros in 2020 to 21.6 million euros in 2021. The primary reason for this was the approval of an extensive, long-term food security project in several countries in East Africa. Approved funding from the BMZ amounting to 16.8 million euros, was only slightly above the previous year's figure (16.2 million euros). There was also a welcome increase in funding again in 2021 from the EU (Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – ECHO), from 4.4 to 5.8 million euros (+32.1 per cent). In 2021, no projects were approved with funding from the United Nations.

The priorities of funding from the AA and BMZ for Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe projects in 2021 were as follows:

  • Yemen – 2.6 million euros (2020:  5.8 million euros), exclusively from the AA
  • Palestine – 4 million euros from the  BMZ (2020: 0.3 million euros also from the BMZ)
  • Venezuela crisis – 4.5 million euros from the AA (2020: 4.7 million euros from the BMZ)
  • Haiti – 1.2 million euros from the BMZ (2020: 1.0 million euros from the BMZ)
  • 1.5 million euros to reinforce  resilience in complex disasters from the BMZ
  • 4 million euros for the rehabilitation  and development of health sector  infrastructure and services in Lebanon
  • 2.1 million for a project to improve the preventive capacities and structural infrastructure of disaster prone communities in Bangladesh
  • 3 million euros in total for projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger

Notes on expenditure and its allocation

Total expenditure

In 2021, the overall expenditure of Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, amounting to around 59.8 million euros, was significantly higher than in 2020 (44.7 million euros). The main reason for the increase of nearly 15 million euros or 33.5 per cent is an almost equivalent increase in project expenditure, primarily for relief measures in response to the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in July 2021. Statutory expenditure on humanitarian aid projects, project support and statutory public relations in 2021 amounted to almost 55.5 million euros (2020: 40.2 million euros) and, thus, 93.0 per cent of total expenditure (2020: 89.9 per cent).

Project expenditure

The principal recipients of project expenditure in 2021 of around 52.9 million euros were South Sudan (4.8 million euros), Germany (4.3 million euros for flood relief in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia), the Horn of Africa (6.2 million euros for Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya), Yemen (3.2 million euros), Turkey (3.0 million euros for projects for Syrian refugees), Colombia and Venezuela (4.4 million euros, including 2.4 million for the refugee crisis in Venezuela), Palestine  (2.1 million euros), Syria (2.0 million euros), Haiti (2.0 million euros) and the Democratic Republic of Congo  (1.8 million euros). Project expenditure in these countries and regions accounted for about 61 per cent of overall project expenditure.

Project support

Alongside personnel and administration costs, project support includes the cost of ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ project activities such as the selection of suitable project partners. It also includes expenditure on controlling and revision as well as on impact monitoring and evaluation. Compared to 2020, expenditure on project support fell slightly by around 70,000 euros or 3.0 per cent. This is primarily a consequence of slightly lower costs for human resources and a reduction in other operating costs resulting from reduced expenditure on field visits.

Statutory public relations

Expenditure on campaigns, education and awareness-raising activities amounting to 0.8 million euros, a slight fall from the previous year (0.9 million euros), contribute to raising public awareness of humanitarian aid concerns. It encompasses public relations, educational work and lobbying. Major areas of expenditure were press and media work, the production of brochures and the support for the public relations work of the diaconal agencies and regional churches.

Advertising and administration

Compared to 2020, there was a fall of around 120,000 euros or 4.6 per cent in expenditure on advertising in 2021. The major areas of expenditure were online and telephone marketing as well as donor mailings. The decrease in expenditure here was primarily a result of reduced expenditure on donor mailings. Expenditure on letters of thanks issued in response to the increase volume of donations received increased in 2021.

Administrative costs fell from 2 million euros in 2020 to 1.8 million euros (a reduction of 7.6 per cent) in 2021. The main reason for this change was a reduction of around 100,000 euros in other operating costs. In 2020, the closure of the central distribution hub for event logistics and merchandising articles had led to higher costs. Since 2021, the previous work of the central distribution hub has been performed by an external service provider. In 2021, expenditure on advertising and administration as a percentage of total expenditure fell to 7.1 per cent from 10.1 per cent the previous year. This decrease is a consequence, on the one and, of reduced expenditure on project support, statutory public relations, advertising and administration and, on the other hand, of increased project expenditure. In absolute terms, these areas of expenditure fell from 4.3 million euros in 2020 to 4.2 million euros in 2021. As a proportion of the total volume of expenditure, this level of expenditure on advertising and administration is categorised as “low” according to the criteria of the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI).

Notes of the types of expenditure

Personnel costs

Personnel costs have fallen slightly. The reasons for this were, on the one hand, a slight adjustment to the allocation of personnel costs with respect to central services (finances, human resources, administration) and, on the other hand, a slight reduction in provisions for overtime and residual leave entitlements.

Other operating expenses

The reduction in these costs was primarily the result of the discontinuation of costs associated with the closure of the central distribution hub.

Write offs

Depreciation fell by around 70,000 euros, largely because there have been no write-offs for larger-scale software products and operating / office equipment since 2020.


Tax on income and earnings consist of corporation and commercial taxes, related to non-tax-exempt activities (e. g. merchandise sales) and from tax at source and capital gains tax associated with income from securities and investments. The fall from the previous year is primarily due to refunds of capital gains tax.

Interest expenses

Interest expense fell due to a slight adjustment in cost itemisation. In particular, interest is paid on the bank loan required to finance our headquarters in Berlin.

Auditor’s certificate

The auditor's certificate for the annual financial statements of the legal entities, the EWDE and EZE, as well as the auditors’ certificate for the annual financial statement will, after completion of the audit, be available on our German website.