In 2012 ECHO is celebrating its 20th anniversary. On October 16th, a celebratory closing event took place in Brussels.
This event took place within the context of the 7th edition of the European Development Days 2012, organized on October 16-17 2012. An estimated 7,000 people participated. This year's theme was Sustainable and Inclusive Growth for Human Development.
Participants explored the linkages between inclusive and sustainable growth and debated how to build more resilient communities, how to engage the private sector and how to empower people to contribute to development.
This year's edition welcomed the humanitarian community, on the occasion of the 20 years of the European humanitarian assistance. Discussions focused on better linking relief and development and exploring ways of better cooperation towards resilience.
Ten years ago, ECHO was wondering whether to celebrate its 10th anniversary: "Ten years of ECHO, I am not sure we should celebrate", recalls Peter Burges, one of our experts; "Ten years of continued humanitarian needs in the world, is it something we want to celebrate?" But as his colleague Vicente Eduardo explains: "On the one hand, it is sad that ECHO is still alive and growing today. On the other hand, it is good that parts of the world still cares, that the EU is still engaged."