While the humanitarian crises worldwide grow, the EU has committed its highest ever annual humanitarian budget of €1.6 billion for 2019.
According to the information made available by the European Commission, the bulk of the budget will address the crisis in Syria, refugees in neighbouring countries, and the critical situation in Yemen.
EU aid will support people in African regions affected by crisis in South Sudan, Central African Republic, the Lake Chad Basin, and the Democratic Republic of Congo suffering from an Ebola outbreak and in regions suffering food and nutrition crises, such as the Sahel between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna.
The EU’s €1.6 billion will be split to €385 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, and €860 million to battle the Syrian crisis on the ground, but also in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey.
For Turkey, €650 million of the €860 million will be allocated to support the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement.
On the North Africa region, under the European Neighborhood framework that includes ten partner countries, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia, €32 million are set to be allocated. Iraq, Yemen and Palestine are also set to receive €88 million.
In Asia, Latin America, Pacific, and the Caribbean, €105 million is set to be allocated in 2019. Last but not least, the EU’s reserve and non geographic allocation for this year will be of €174 million. More specifically in Latin America, EU funding will help the most vulnerable populations affected by the crisis in Venezuela and protracted conflict in Colombia. The EU will keep assisting in Afghanistan and help Rohingya populations in both Myanmar and Bangladesh.
“With this new budget, the EU remains a leading humanitarian donor in the face of crises such as Syria and Yemen,” said the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.
However, Stylianides acknowledged that “humanitarian aid alone cannot solve all problems but we must do everything in our power to help the most vulnerable”. According to the Commissioner, what the EU should also consider, is “the impact of these many crises on children, on the next generation. That’s why a record 10% of the new budget, 10 times more than in 2015, is dedicated to education in emergencies, so we can give children the tools to build a better future”.
The European Commission’s assistance is brought to life via humanitarian partner organisations, including UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and the Red Cross family, who have signed partnership agreements with the EU executive. Strict rules apply in the use of funds and the European Commission closely monitors the process.