Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Commission today announced adoption of its annual humanitarian budget, which this year amounts to 1.5 billion euros. The EC attributed the ongoing rise of humanitarian crises around the world to the effects of conflict, exacerbated by natural disasters.
In a press statement, Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, pointed out that “humanitarian needs are at an all-time high and continue to grow”, adding that conflicts and violence are the main causes.
“Our humanitarian funding will allow the EU to do its part and continue to save lives and cover the basic needs of affected populations”, he said. Moreover, he added, “next to responding to new and highly visible crises, the budget ensures that we do not detract from addressing existing, protracted or recurrent humanitarian crises, such as in Colombia or South Sudan or the situation of the Rohingya people.”
The EC has decided to allocate 469 million euro to sub-Saharan Africa, to ease the food crisis caused by conflict in the Sahel and to help the people displaced by violence.
It allocated 351 million euro to North Africa and the Middle East, to ease the crisis in Syria and help displaced people in neighbouring countries.
The Commission is to spend 152 million euro on projects in Southeast Europe, Ukraine and Turkey, to cushion the blow of the Syrian crisis there.
Some 188 million euro will go towards humanitarian causes in Latin America and Asia, and the remaining 370 million is to be used for unexpected crises and other operations.
According to the EC, the bloc, which launched it humanitarian activities in 1992, has provided humanitarian aid to more than 100 countries.
The EU provides aid only through partner organisations such as NGOs, UN agencies and the Red Cross. It tracks the use to which the money is put through a network of experts and has strict rules to ensure that the money gets to where it is needed.
In 2021, the Commission made a point of calling for the expansion of EU humanitarian programmes in order to provide more aid during the coronavirus crisis