European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.

Funding for humanitarian aid. The initial EU budget of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), as programmed in the EU's Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, amounts to approximately €1 billion per year (a total of €7.1 billion was adopted for the entire seven years of the MFF).

Although the seven year ceiling is set by the MFF profile, the precise figure is decided each year by the EU Budget Authority (European Parliament and Council), following the annual budget procedure. In addition to the initial budget, an EU Emergency Aid Reserve can be called upon to respond to unforeseen events and major crises, financing notably humanitarian, civilian crisis management and protection operations in non-EU countries. 

In addition, unused amounts from other EU funding programmes may be transferred to humanitarian aid during the course of the year. Additional funding could also be provided through the European Development Fund (the 11th EDF) and through direct contributions from the EU Member States

The European Commission provides humanitarian funding worldwide to over 200 partner organisations which implement relief actions on the ground. These include non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international organisations and United Nations agencies.

Consultations with partners on financing decisions.

The European Commission organises meetings addressed to its humanitarian partners to inform them about its financing decisions for humanitarian assistance in crisis areas.

Financing decisions (HIPs).

Financing decisions are legal acts adopted by the European Commission in order to authorise its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) to spend from the EU budget and grant funding for humanitarian actions.

Grants and contributions.

The European Commission is committed to guarantee full transparency on the beneficiaries of funds in line with the requirements of Article 35 of the Financial Regulation. 

Humanitarian aid.

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, reaching millions of people across the globe each 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, healthcare, 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.

Capacity building.

Capacity building strengthens the ability of the humanitarian sector to provide aid effectively. Cash transfersThe cash transfers are assistance in the form of money - either physical currency or e-cash.

Climate change and Environment

Humanitarian aid donors’ declaration on climate and environment.

Digitalisation and digital technologies are a key enabler in delivering effective and timely humanitarian aid; they allow aid organisations to improve collaboration.

Disability Inclusion and people with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which may hinder their full and effective participation in society.  Disaster preparedness consists of a set of measures undertaken by governments, organisations, communities or individuals to better respond.

EU Humanitarian Air Bridge.

The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight operations are intended to help reinforce humanitarian or emergency responses in countries facing fragile contexts.

Education in emergencies.

Children living in humanitarian crises have the right to quality education and training. With its policy on education in emergencies and protracted crises, the EU aims at minimising the impact of crises on children’s learning.

European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC)

The European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC) is a set of operational tools designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian response to sudden-onset natural hazards and human-induced disasters.

Food assistance.

Food assistance is provided in anticipation of, during, and in the aftermath of a humanitarian crisis. Its objective is to save lives and livelihoods.

Forced displacement: refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people (IDPs)

Every year, millions of people are forced to leave their homes due to conflict, violence, human rights violations, persecution, and natural hazards.

Gender- and age-sensitive aid.

Natural hazards and human-induced crises are not gender neutral: they have a different impact on women, girls, boys, and men. They are also not age neutral.

Grand Bargain.

The world's major humanitarian donors and aid organisations adhered to the Grand Bargain during the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016.


Health is a core sector of humanitarian assistance, but also a reliable measurement of its impact. The European Commission aims to provide high.

Humanitarian Action in Urban Crises.

Disasters can have dramatic consequences for cities and urban populations. As the world is urbanising rapidly, natural hazards and displacement crises increase in high-density urban settings.

Humanitarian Air Services.

Humanitarian air services provide a lifeline for millions of people caught in humanitarian crises. In such situations, ensuring fast and safe access.

International Humanitarian Law.

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is a set of rules that seek to limit the effects of armed conflict. It lays out the responsibilities of states.

Needs assessment.

Through its humanitarian aid, the European Union seeks to address the needs of the most vulnerable people caught up in humanitarian crises and disasters.


Undernutrition is a medical condition that mostly affects children under 5 years old.


Ensuring protection of populations is a core objective of humanitarian action. Protection is a broad concept, approached in many different ways.

Resilience and Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.

The recurrent, protracted and complex nature of many crises re-enforces the importance of developing longer-term interventions.

Shelter and settlements

Shelter is a basic human need crucial for survival in cases of natural hazards or conflict.

Social Protection.

With more than 65 million people forcibly displaced, and 130 million relying on humanitarian aid, there is an urgent need for improved coherence between humanitarian and development actions.

Water, sanitation and hygiene.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (also known as WASH) are closely connected sectors and essential for good public health. In emergencies and crises.