The EU - a major actor in humanitarian aid
The EU - European Commission and the EU Member States combined - is one of the world's largest donors of humanitarian assistance. Working through specialised non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and UN agencies, the EU provides vital aid for the victims of conflict and natural disasters across the world. The humanitarian assistance covers a wide range of needs, from shelter, food, water and sanitation through to protection of refugees and internally displaced persons.
In December 2007, the EU (Member States, the Commission and the European Parliament) collectively adopted a ground-breaking declaration in which they committed to certain core principles in their humanitarian assistance – the European Humanitarian Aid Consensus. The Consensus enshrines the principles of impartiality and neutrality in the provision of humanitarian aid, and also underlines the central role of the United Nations in coordinating international relief efforts. The European Commission as a donor subscribes to the principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD), which are endorsed by the EU as a whole in the European Humanitarian Aid Consensus.
Working with partners
Within the wider humanitarian aid community, the United Nations has a central role in coordinating international relief efforts, and the EU attaches great importance to a close working relationship with the UN on humanitarian issues.
Moreover, the EU also provides extensive support to the Red Cross Movement and has close working relations at headquarters level in Geneva.
The EU Delegation also maintains close contact in Geneva with the representatives of other major humanitarian aid donors and UN Member States, as well as with the representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which play a crucial role in front-line humanitarian assistance.
In Geneva, the EU Delegation maintains close working relations with the main UN bodies dealing with humanitarian aid, including notably: