19 August is World Humanitarian Day. The day is dedicated to humanitarian workers. They are the ones at the forefront of crises, often working in the world's most dangerous places and difficult conditions, risking their lives to save lives. There are more than half a million aid workers in the world today.
The European Union is the leading donor of humanitarian aid in the world. In 2010 the European Commission alone dedicated €1.115 billion for assistance in humanitarian crises.
The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has more than 400 staff deployed in its 47 offices around the world. They are our eyes and ears on the ground. They assess the needs in emergencies and crises and monitor the deployment of EU humanitarian aid. These are their testimonies.