Humanitarian action: New outlook for EU’s global aid delivery challenged by COVID-19

Humanitarian action: New outlook for EU’s global aid delivery challenged by COVID-19

March 10, 2021

Today, the Commission has proposed to strengthen the European Union’s global humanitarian impact in order to meet the substantially rising humanitarian needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Communication proposes a series of key actions to expedite the provision of humanitarian aid by expanding the resource base, supporting a better enabling environment for humanitarian partners and addressing the root causes of crises through a ‘Team Europe’ approach. It highlights a renewed focus on international humanitarian law (IHL) and also sets out to tackle the dramatic humanitarian impact of climate change.

The EU will set up a new European Humanitarian Response Capacity in order to intervene directly in humanitarian crises, when traditional humanitarian delivery mechanisms via EU partners or their capacities may be ineffective or insufficient. This will aim to facilitate logistics including transport, enabling the pooling of resources and facilitating their deployment in the field. This capacity could, for instance, offer logistical assessments, support for initial deployment and procurement, stockpiling, transporting and/or distributing relief items, including COVID-19 vaccines and their delivery in fragile countries.

The EU will put compliance with international humanitarian law even more firmly at the heart of EU external action to protect civilian populations. It will also scale up its urgent relief efforts by closely delivering together with development and peace-building actors tackling the root causes of crisis and promoting long-term solutions for humanitarian emergencies.

The European Union, together with its Member States, is the world’s leading humanitarian donor, accounting for some 36% of global humanitarian assistance.

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