Bringing relief to refugees in Asia
Providing support for uprooted people in post-crisis situations and fragile states is a priority for European Commission regional programming. The aim is to bridge short-term humanitarian aid and long-term development assistance by providing funds to help improve the living conditions of displaced people, and to facilitate their re-integration into their home country or their integration elsewhere. The beneficiaries can also include host communities in the resettlement areas.
European Commission assistance regarding uprooted people
The Commission supports the reintegration of displaced people into the socio-economic fabric of the host country or region, and provides support to local communities and resettlement areas.
Refugee issues are often highly political and it is necessary to ensure strong links with bilateral humanitarian and development aid programmes. This means finding long-term solutions and exit strategies, while dealing with issues related to crisis management.
A regional approach is justified because, in many cases, these crises involve several countries. For example, the Burmese crisis affects Burma/Myanmar, Thailand and Bangladesh, while the Afghan crisis affects Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. Crises involving uprooted people can also change quickly on the ground, which means a shift of focus for activities that could lead to a re-allocation of funding between countries
The EU-Asia Regional Strategy Paper for 2007 to 2013 [77 KB] presents support to uprooted people as a key funding area. The Multi-annual Indicative Programme [57 KB] has earmarked €112 million to be spent over the four years between 2007 and 2010.
The Commission’s programme has the following objectives:
- To ensure the link between relief, rehabilitation and development in crises involving uprooted people.
- To find durable solutions.
- To promote peace-building and reconciliation.
- To protect uprooted people.
- To address the needs of demobilised former combatants and child soldiers.
Projects are selected either through country-based calls for proposals or under very specific conditions through a direct agreement with an implementing organisation. Specific details about the implementation of the programme are contained in a Regional Action Plan, which is adopted every year.
Between 2001 and 2006, the Commission spent about €270 million on assisting uprooted people in Asia, responding to crises in Afghanistan, Nepal, Burma/Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Projects aimed to restore economic activity and lost livelihoods by funding activities such as rebuilding homes, schools and infrastructure. Funds were also channelled to education and health services and used to promote peace and reconciliation.
Under the 2006 AUP Programme, the budget for Asia came to €37 million. Calls for proposals offering grant funds were launched for Thailand, Burma/Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Nepal.
In addition, a number of targeted projects were also funded in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
For more information
Please see the webpage of the Directorate General for External Relations as well as websites of the European Commission Delegations in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka.