Member States of the European Union and the institutions of the European Union together are one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid in the world
The European Union responds to all natural and man-made disasters by providing humanitarian assistance to those in need. Humanitarian aid is provided on the basis of international humanitarian principles and on the basis of the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid. Help to the affected population is provided objectively, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. The locations to which humanitarian aid was sent by now are Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and a part of Europe.
The Member States of the European Union and the institutions of the European Union together are one of the largest donors and providers of humanitarian aid in the world. Since 1992 the European Commission has provided humanitarian assistance to more than 110 countries and helped more than a million people worldwide. Humanitarian aid comes in the form of food, shelter, health care, water and sanitation and education in emergencies.
Except humanitarian aid, there is also aid in the form of civil protection supported by European solidarity in action. Under the European Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism, countries stand ready and prepared to help each other when national resources for disaster response are overwhelmed or need to be reinforced. Assistance is provided by volunteers who help in crisis situations.
The European Commission can fund emergency support operations to respond to disasters of exceptional scale within the European Union, but the funds for humanitarian aid are also intended for countries outside the borders of the European Union.
The destructive explosion that hit Beirut on the 4th of August has caused over 200 fatalities and injured over 7 000 people. As the immediate response to the explosion, about 300 European search and rescue teams, as well as chemical, civil engineers and medical teams, were brought to Beirut through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Additional in-kind assistance has been sent, with over 2 000 chemical protection suits, more than 50 tonnes of medical equipment, food items, thousands of FFP2 masks and protective kits. Additionally, two cargo ships from France delivered containers with food and construction materials to Beirut, as well as fire trucks and ambulances.
The European Union’s humanitarian air bridge is an integrated set of services that enables the delivery of humanitarian aid to countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In this way, medical equipment, donations and staff are provided as humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable populations where the pandemic limits the abilities of transport and logistics. From the start of the Humanitarian Air Bridge project, the 8th of May 2020, the EU has coordinated and financed the delivery of more than 1 100 tonnes of medical equipment to areas in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The European Union humanitarian air bridge has global coverage and provides humanitarian aid to difficult to access areas.