The European Commission has adopted its plan for the allocation of over €661 million in humanitarian aid funding for 2013. This so-called World-Wide Decision on Humanitarian Aid is the financial backbone of the Commission's humanitarian aid operational strategy for 2013. The Commission will fund humanitarian interventions run by more than 200 of its partner organisations in nearly 80 countries or regions.
Based on an in-depth assessment of the needs of the most vulnerable populations in the world, the five largest humanitarian operations will be in the Sahel region of West Africa, including further response to the conflict in Mali (€82 million), Sudanand South Sudan (€80 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (€54 million),Pakistan (€42 million) and Somalia (€40 million). All of these are large-scale, protracted crises resulting from conflict, food shortages or both. Geographically, the largest portion of aid will go to sub-Saharan Africa to which €344.5 million, representing 52% of the Commission's pre-programmed humanitarian funding, is targeted.
As in previous years part of the budget is dedicated to forgotten crises – populations that receive little media attention and for whom the Commission is often the only major donor. In 2013 the Commission has identified several populations in nine countries – Algeria, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Yemen - who meet these criteria. The only new crisis on this year's list is the one caused by conflict and internal displacement in Pakistan. Other long-enduring forgotten crises include the armed conflict caused by the Lord's Resistance Army in Central African Republic, the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria, and the victims of conflict in Colombia.
The World-Wide Decision on Humanitarian Aid is allocated on the basis of an annual Global Needs Assessment (GNA), where the European Commission categorises 140 developing countries in terms of their vulnerability and the recent occurrence of a crisis. In 2012, using the GNA methodology, the Commission identified 68 countries currently experiencing at least one humanitarian crisis. Out of these, fifteen countries emerged as "extremely vulnerable", nine of which are found in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition to today's €661 million, reserve resources are available during the year for unpredictable crises and disasters. In 2012 the entire reserve was used due to major disasters in the Sahel region of West Africa, the escalation of the conflict in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan, all of which caused renewed violence against civilians and displacement. These additional emergency responses brought the total amount of humanitarian funding from the Commission to nearly €1.3 billion in 2012, the Commission’s highest ever annual spending on humanitarian aid.