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EU puts resilience at the heart of its work on fighting hunger and poverty

Women working in the field (c) Raphael de Bengy
03/10/2012  - 

Today the European Commissioners for Development and Humanitarian Aid – Andris Piebalgs and Kristalina Georgieva – proposed a new policy to help vulnerable communities across the world build resilience to disasters.

The ‘The EU Approach to Resilience: Learning from Food Security Crises’ communication draws lessons from the experience of responding to recent food crises and outlines the measures with which the European Union will help vulnerable populations reduce the impact of future crises.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said: ‘Since taking on the EU Crisis Response role, I've seen every possible disaster – short of an asteroid hitting the Earth – and how the effects, when they are intensified by climate change, demographic growth and urbanisation, are hitting more people than ever.

‘If we want our assistance to be effective and cost-efficient, we must not just put a bandage on the wound – we must help find a cure. This requires a shared vision from the humanitarian and the development communities and a joint commitment to act. We are pledging this commitment on Europe's behalf today.’

Strengthening resilience is at the core of successful humanitarian and development policies. This new proposal outlines a wide range of activities for building resilience, from improving access to food to ensuring that natural resources such as water are protected.

Close cooperation between humanitarian and development workers is another essential element in building resilience. This is why the Commission undertakes to link its emergency and development programmes more closely, as in the AGIR-Sahel and SHARE initiatives.