Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

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Evacuation roads like this help people flee when floods and cyclones strike. The European Commission humanitarian partners help communities build infrastructure, also through cash-for-work programmes. © European Union/ECHO/Aftab Alam

Why is this important?

Resilience is the ability of an individual, a community or a country to cope, adapt and quickly recover from stress and shocks caused by a disaster, violence or conflict.

The increasing frequency and intensity of natural and man-made disasters and humanitarian crises challenge the resilience of people living in areas subject to recurrent emergencies, often in the poorest developing countries in the world.

Helping people and communities be better prepared for, withstand and recover from disasters is key to reducing their impact and avoid loss of lives and livelihoods.

How are we helping?

The EU places resilience as a central objective in its development and humanitarian assistance.

The EU's resilience approach started with two ground-breaking initiatives: the Supporting Horn of African Resilience (SHARE) and l'Alliance Globale pour l'Initiative Résilience - Sahel et Afrique de l'Ouest (AGIR). Both initiatives, focusing on two major African regions, aim to foster the resilience of communities who are regularly affected by food insecurity and protracted conflicts.

The EU has also introduced a Resilience Marker in all the humanitarian projects it funds. This marker defines ways to reduce risks and to strengthen people's coping capacities so as to minimise humanitarian needs.

In December 2015, the European Commission released €125 million to finance actions in countries affected by ‘El Niño’ in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. The objective of this funding is to respond to existing situations of drought, but also allow for early pre-emptive action and preparedness.

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