European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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NOHA (Network on Humanitarian Action)

Field exercise for NOHA students organised with the Red Cross, Germany. © Lena Zimmer

Why is this important?

Expertise in humanitarian aid increases its overall effectiveness. In the aftermath of a major crisis, the professionalism of relief staff is essential.

In past years, humanitarian assistance has progressively shifted from the provision of basic services to more efficient and principled interventions, which prepare for disasters and conflicts ahead of time and focus on delivering needs- and rights-based assistance performed by fully committed and qualified experts.

Consequently, it has become ever more essential that the humanitarian sector is professionalised and experts receive high quality, in-depth training and graduate education, so that the relief and assistance they provide can help people is effective.

What are we doing?

The European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) funds graduate education and training initiatives through the NOHA (Network on Humanitarian Action). The network is an association of 12 universities which aim at enhancing professionalism in the humanitarian sector. 

The Network provides education, research and training opportunities in humanitarian action. Mainly supported by the European Commission, it offers certified high level courses like the Joint Master in Humanitarian Action as well as refresher courses.

By promoting the debate on humanitarian work, the Network also contributes to awareness raising on humanitarian issues.

Over 3 000 graduates have already benefitted from the programme since it was launched in 1993. NOHA's approach provides students with a combination of theoretical concepts and practical cases that will give them a unique perspective and set of skills to perform better in real life emergency situations.

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