12/10/2012 – Today, the European Union has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2012, for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
In the pursuit of peace, the EU has always helped the victims of conflict. A moral imperative for Europeans, especially in light of their shared history.
Over the past two decades, the EU has channelled approximately €14 billion to millions of victims of conflict and disaster in more than 140 countries. Driven by needs and guided by the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, EU humanitarian aid is given without regard for any political agendas, and seeks to help those in the greatest need, irrespective of their nationality, religion, gender, ethnic origin or political affiliation.
In Syria, we are now helping between 1.5 and 2 million people fleeing the conflict inside Syria and to its neighbouring countries.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, tens of millions of refugees, displaced people and vulnerable local population in the eastern provinces have received aid since 1994.
In Iraq, nearly 1.7 million people benefited from protection activities and rehabilitation of water and sanitation schemes.
In Libya, 56,000 foreigners stranded at the outset of the 2011 conflict were assisted in their repatriation and more than 90,000 refugees blocked at the borders received water, food, shelter and medical assistance. Inside Libya, 130,000 internally displaced people also received relief support.
In South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011, crisis relief was provided for many years during and after the conflict between North and South; 2.5 million people still benefit from assistance, especially in food and healthcare.
All of this has been possible thanks to the support of the European Citizens. Congratulations to all of us, Europeans, for this important recognition.