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Funding Health in Europe

External Programmes: Instrument for Humanitarian Aid

The European Union is the world's largest humanitarian donor in the world. The various external cooperation programmes are mainly administrated by the DG EuropeAid.
EuropeAid is responsible for the implementation of various external programmes.In addition, for the programming of the different external programmes the following DG’s are responsible: DG ELARG, DG RELEX, DG DEV, DG AIDCO, DG ECHO.

One of their several external programmes, the Instrument for Humanitarian Aid (DG ECHO) provides special grants in the larger context of health issues. It targets third countries and aims at people in developing countries and covers not only short-term relief but also disaster prevention and reconstruction operations. Such operations last as long as is necessary and are targeted at the immediate requirements arising out of natural (e.g. flooding, earthquakes) or man-made disasters (e.g. outbreaks of war and fighting) and other exceptional comparable circumstances. The budget for Humanitarian Aid is about 640 M€ per year. For more information please visit its homepage.

As a short-term measure (lasting a maximum of six months), humanitarian aid is primarily intended to:

  • save life during emergencies and their immediate aftermath;
  • provide the necessary assistance and relief to people affected by longer-lasting crises arising, in particular, from outbreaks of fighting or wars;
  • carry out short-term rehabilitation and reconstruction work, especially on infrastructure and equipment, in the post-emergency phase;
  • cope with the consequences of population movements by means of schemes to assist repatriation and resettlement where appropriate;
  • ensure preparedness for the risks concerned and use a suitable rapid early-warning and intervention system.


To see the funding decisions of this year (or previous years) please seek under the following link.