European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Service tools

Humanitarian aid

© European Union/ECHO/Martin Karimi

Based on international humanitarian principles and as set out in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, the EU provides needs-based humanitarian assistance to the people hit by man-made and natural disasters with particular attention to the most vulnerable victims. Aid is channelled impartially to the affected populations, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.

The EU – Member States and EU institutions collectively – is among the leading donors of humanitarian aid in the world.

The European Commission has been providing humanitarian aid since 1992 in over 110 countries. While its annual budget for such operations is only around €1 billion, the Commission's assistance reaches over 120 million people every year.

The humanitarian assistance funded by the EU is delivered in partnership with UN agencies, international organisations and NGOs. EU humanitarian aid covers intervention areas such as: food and nutrition, shelter, health care, water and sanitation and education in emergencies. A large network of Commission's humanitarian experts in over 40 countries worldwide enables close monitoring of crisis situations and relief operations.

The funding for humanitarian aid operations is intended for countries outside of the EU. The European Commission can also fund emergency support operations to respond to disasters of exceptional scale within the European Union.

Find out more:

Our humanitarian policies and operations:

Last updated
09/01/2019