Humanitarian aid, crisis response and civil protection are tangible deliverables of the EU's global action and an expression of the solidarity of European citizens. My job is to make sure that European assistance reaches those who need it in the most efficient and well-coordinated way, to make the best use of our tools for crisis response and to ensure that the contribution of our citizens is recognised.
Together with my team, I have been working to consolidate the Union's position among the world's leading donors of humanitarian aid. We have responded to the biggest crises of recent years with generous and sustained support for the victims: in Syria, the Sahel, the Central African Republic, Haiti and the Philippines, to name just a few.
Today, we continue to fund the life-saving work of some of the world's best humanitarian organisations and to help the men, women and children who need aid to survive, whether they are victims of large-scale conflicts, the forces of Nature or protracted, forgotten crises. For that, we are grateful for the support of European citizens, the large majority of whom have said they expect the EU to act in support to the victims of humanitarian crises.
A flagship initiative of our work is EU Children of Peace, a programme which has invested the EU Nobel Prize capital into projects supporting the safety and education of children in conflict areas. Another priority is helping disaster-prone communities help themselves through boosting their resilience to repeated crises (the AGIR initiative in the Sahel and the SHARE programme in the Horn of Africa).
Another priority of my mandate has been to improve the efficiency and quality of the EU's crisis response. The adoption of new Civil Protection legislation and the establishment of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre, combined with sharper focus on disaster preparedness in Europe and around the world, has boosted our capacity to withstand and respond to catastrophes and in this way - to help save lives and avert damage.
Furthermore, the upcoming EU Aid Volunteers initiative will give citizens the possibility to engage directly in humanitarian activities under the European flag - and to help us continue making a difference.