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Humanitarian Aid

sahel Ebola
With less than 1% of the EU budget
We fund forgotten crises which escaped the media and the international community's attention, such as
The EU played a major role on in putting the crisis in the Central African Republic on the international agenda and gathering global support
EU action is guided by humanitarian principles as reflected in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid
No matter where and who was struck by a crisis, we acted to help people in need
EU aid is carefully tailored to match each crisis's specific characteristics, taking into account gender, age, and specific needs.
Our budget per policy sector

(2013 data)

We invest
in preventing and reducing the risk of disasters
in building resilience of local populations in areas where people face recurrent natural disasters AGIR AGIR
EU Children of Peace
To strengthen the EU's capacity to address crises, we are establishing the EU Aid Volunteers programme
Our aid delivery is only possible thanks to
in preventing and reducing the risk of disasters
close cooperation with our global network of over 200 humanitarian partners ranging from large UN agencies to small NGOs

Civil protection


Peter Maurer

President, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

"Sharing EU’s core beliefs, the ICRC is committed to provide impartial need-based assistance to all those affected by conflicts in a neutral and independent manner."

David Miliband

President and CEO, International Rescue Committee (IRC)

"It is not just about how much money the EU gives, but how the EU does its business. It is always ready to innovate to meet new needs, and it doesn't forget the crises that are not in the headlines."

Ertharin Cousin

Executive Director, UN World Food Programme (WFP)

"We at WFP accomplish our work because of the EU's consistent support. I must thank you. It is the crucial support from European citizens, through ECHO and other channels, that enables us to provide a lifeline to millions around the world."

Franco Gabrielli

Civil Protection Department, Italy

"The EU Civil Protection Mechanism offers numerous benefits both in terms of the assets that can be made available through the modules system and in terms of opportunities for sharing experiences."


Seven-year old Syrian refugee

“I used to be so low on the ground but now I am ‘up.’ I can even go to school… I’m going to study to be an orthopedic surgeon”. After losing both his legs, ECHO funding allowed Ahmad to receive auxiliary crutches, a wheelchair, a toilet chair and weekly rehabilitation sessions.

António Guterres

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

"Action is based on needs, not on any strategic considerations. This means that we can rely on the European Union to make sure that we get support when support is really needed."

Biranu Waka

Aid worker in EU-funded education project for Somali refugees

"Thanks to the support from ECHO, we now have 5 400 children attending schools in refugee camps. We have increased access to education from 27% to 32%."

Valerie Amos

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (UNOCHA)

"The EU is a donor with which we have very strong relations, not only for funding purposes. Our relationship is about thinking through the challenges we face across the humanitarian community, and finding ways in which we can to tackle these together."

Anthony Lake

Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

“Whether in responding to crises or helping build resilience – preferably both at the same time when disaster strikes – UNICEF has no better partner than the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department of the European Commission (ECHO).”

Sister Maximina

Director of EU-supported boarding school in Ecuador

"40 out of 72 children hosted in our school are beneficiaries of the action implemented by UNHCR thanks to the support of the European Union, in a very remote corner of Ecuador, close to the Colombian border."

Leah Cowan

EU Aid Volunteer

"Nothing really beats actually being in the field to see everything in operation."

Helena Lindberg

Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Sweden

"It is so valuable to have the Civil Protection Forum and all the platforms that the EU Civil Protection Mechanism creates, such as meetings, exercises and training."