European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Funding for humanitarian aid

© The Johanniter/Paul Hahn Juli

The initial EU budget of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations - ECHO, as programmed in the EU's Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, amounts to approximately €1 billion per year (a total of €7.1 billion was adopted for the entire seven years of the MFF). In addition to the core humanitarian aid and civil protection activities, the 2017 budget includes support for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) for operations inside the EU

Although the seven year ceiling is set by the MFF profile, the precise figure is decided each year by the EU Budget Authority (European Parliament and Council), following the annual budget procedure. In addition to the initial budget, an EU Emergency Aid Reserve can be called upon to respond to unforeseen events and major crises, financing notably humanitarian, civilian crisis management and protection operations in non-EU countries. In addition, unused amounts from other EU funding programmes may be transferred to humanitarian aid during the course of the year. Additional fundinc could also be provided through the European Development Fund (the 11th EDF) and through direct contributions from the EU Member States

With respect to the current refugee crisis in Europe, a new EU Regulation for the ESI instrument (mentioned above) was adopted in 2016, allowing the EU to provide emergency support in response to exceptional crises or disasters within the EU which give rise to severe humanitarian consequences. The overall envelope for the period 2016-2018 amounts to €700 million (of which €200 million for 2017).

The European Commission provides humanitarian funding worldwide to over 200 partner organisations which implement relief actions on the ground. These include non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations and United Nations agencies.

Further information is available about ECHO's past humanitarian operation agreements and service contracts; as well as on its consultations with partners on funding decisions.

Last updated
22/03/2017