The Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, initially endorsed by the EU and 17 other donors in 2003, underline the importance of coherence and effectiveness of humanitarian action including donor accountability. The GHD principles, now endorsed by no less than 42 donors (including all the EU Member States), include reference to:
- Principled humanitarian action;
- Respect for and promotion of International Humanitarian Law;
- The importance of needs-based assistance;
- Accountability to affected populations;
- Predictable humanitarian funding;
- Coherence of donor action;
- Primacy of civilian response;
- Support to multilateral coordinated humanitarian action.
These principles are fully in-line with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid.
The GHD Initiative, which acts as a donor forum and network, actively promotes these principles. The initiative encourages principled donor behaviour which each donor can adapt to its own policies and, by extension, promote improved humanitarian action.
The donors have been meeting regularly since 2003 to exchange information on policies and practices in relation to the implementation of the GHD principles. These discussions cover topics like needs assessment, humanitarian funding, protection of civilians, safety and security of humanitarian workers, funding preparedness for humanitarian response.
The EU through the Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) is an active participant in the GHD Initiative. The EU currently co-chairs the GHD group for the period 2018-2020 together with Switzerland. The EU previously co-chaired the initiative in 2008-2009 with the Netherlands.