Tag Archives: Disaster

DG ECHO: Annual Report 2005

DG ECHO: Annual Report 2005

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about DG ECHO: Annual Report 2005

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Humanitarian aid

DG ECHO: Annual Report 2005

Document or Iniciative

Report from the Commission of 4 August 2006 – Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO): Annual Report 2005 [COM(2006) 441 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Main interventions

In 2005, DG ECHO allocated a total of 652.5 million,. of which, 629.33 million was financed from the Commission’s budget and the rest was drawn from the European Development Fund (EDF). African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States were the biggest recipients of aid, followed closely by Asia.

The most important actions in the ACP countries took place in Sudan (Darfur crisis), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Coastal West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Ivory Coast), Niger and Mali. In Latin America, ECHO’s activity focused on the populations affected by the violence in Colombia. In the Mediterranean and the Middle East, ECHO continued to provide financial assistance to the Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, and to Sahrawi refugees in Algeria. In Asia, most aid went to the countries hit by the tsunami in December 2004 (Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives and Thailand) and to Pakistan and India, which were struck by a devastating earthquake in October 2005.

ECHO continued to pay particular attention to forgotten crises *, notably in Algeria (Western Sahara), Indonesia, Myanmar/Thailand, Nepal, the Northern Caucasus (Chechnya), Tajikistan, Somalia and Uganda. It also strove, wherever possible, for an exit from humanitarian aid and a transition towards development activities, notably in Angola, Tajikistan and Cambodia.

With regard to disaster preparedness activities, action plans were adopted in the context of the DIPECHO programme for the Andean Community, Central Asia, South Asia and the Caribbean, regions chosen because of their high risk of natural disasters, the high vulnerability of their populations, and their lack of local resources and coping capacities.

To implement its operations, ECHO relied on some 200 partners in the field, most of them NGOs (54 %), UN agencies (32 %) and other international organisations (11 %).

Relations with other actors

During 2005 ECHO provided input to the discussions on reforming the international humanitarian aid system that were launched in the wake of the experience of crises like the tsunami and the earthquake in Pakistan. In this context, the United Nations endorsed a reform programme aimed at improving the predictability, timeliness and effectiveness of the humanitarian response, strengthening coordination and ensuring predictable funding.

DG ECHO continued to follow the work of the Good Humanitarian Donorship Initiative – GDH, among other things by participating in the meeting held to take stock of the progress made in the two years since the adoption of the initiative in 2003.

ECHO also continued to support the institutional capacities of the main international humanitarian agencies through thematic funding programmes, e.g. WHO’s capacity to respond to health emergencies.

Other activities

In order to boost its disaster response capacity, ECHO increased the number of experts in the field in 2005 and reinforced its Regional Support Offices. It also helped shape EC communications in this sector.

During the course of the year ECHO continued to develop policy guidelines on children affected by humanitarian crises and on water and sanitation in emergency situations. It also looked into ways to help NGOs ensure the safety of their field staff, through a follow-up security review to that completed in 2004.

Regarding its communication strategy, ECHO continued to use the mass media to inform wide audiences about its mission and activities, and also launched a pilot awareness-raising campaign in the Czech Republic.

Finally, ECHO conducted 142 financial audits at the headquarters of humanitarian organisations and 24 operational audits in the field or in their offices. It also conducted evaluations of its own operations, in the framework of its partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

Key terms used in the act
  • Forgotten crises: Crises that receive little or no media attention and whose victims receive relatively little or no international assistance.
Key figures given in the act
  • Total aid allocated in 2005: 652.5 million.
  • Main aid recipients: ACP countries (244.2 million / 37 %), Asia (239.25 million / 37 %) and Russia, the Mediterranean and the Middle East (84 million / 13 %).
  • Aid to areas with the greatest needs (according to the GNA classification): 312 million (48 %).
  • Aid to medium-need areas: 136.8 million (21 %).
  • Aid to low-need areas (“pockets of need”): 6.9 million (1 %).
  • Balance (196.6 million / 30 %): allocated to tsunami response activities, disaster preparedness activities (the DIPECHO programme), thematic funding, and technical assistance and support expenditure.

DG ECHO: Annual Report 2006

DG ECHO: Annual Report 2006

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about DG ECHO: Annual Report 2006

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Humanitarian aid

DG ECHO: Annual Report 2006

Document or Iniciative

Report from the Commission of 29 September 2006 – Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid (DG ECHO): Annual Report 2006 [COM(2006) 555 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Main interventions

In 2006 DG ECHO allocated a total budget of 671 million, the main recipients being African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, followed by Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the New Independent States.

The most important actions in the ACP countries took place in Sudan (worsening of the Darfur crisis), Northern Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. In the Mediterranean and the Middle East, DG ECHO provided assistance to victims of the war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon and continued to help Palestinian refugees in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon as well as the most vulnerable populations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In Asia, DG ECHO’s activity focused primarily on the Thai-Burma border (Burmese refugees) and on providing assistance to Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran. In Latin America, DG ECHO again provided assistance to populations affected by the violence in Colombia.

As always, DG ECHO continued to pay particular attention to forgotten crises *, using a method of analysis based on both quantitative and qualitative factors. The forgotten crises identified in 2006 were Algeria (Western Sahara), Myanmar, Nepal, Chechnya and India (Kashmir).

With regard to disaster preparedness activities, DG ECHO reinforced its institutional resources to facilitate mainstreaming disaster preparedness in humanitarian relief and rehabilitation programmes. It also allocated 10 million for pastoralist populations in the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda), to help them prepare for drought.

DG ECHO also continued to support programmes to reinforce the institutional capacities of the main international humanitarian agencies, e.g. the refugee registration programme operated by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

To implement its operations, DG ECHO relied on some 200 partners in the field, most of them NGOs (54%), UN agencies (32%) and other international organisations (11%).

Financial Perspectives 2000-2006 – Financial Perspectives for 2007-2013

The report found that over the period 2000-2006:

  • the humanitarian aid budget was kept a quite stable and minimal amount, which meant that DG ECHO had to seek reinforcement every year, mainly through use of the Emergency Aid Reserve;
  • the funds allocated to the different regions varied sharply from year to year, reflecting the short-term orientation of DG ECHO’s interventions;
  • the relative share of funds allocated to the ACP States increased over the period, and by 2006 accounted for nearly half the DG’s total budget, the sole exception being in 2005, when Asia received the lion’s share of funding, on account of the tsunami and the earthquake in Kashmir.

For the period 2007-2013, the integration of food aid and aid to uprooted people will enable DG ECHO to manage all humanitarian activities through a single instrument. In the context of linkage between relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD), this will facilitate the transition from food aid to food security.

Other activities

The report underlines the significant change in the international humanitarian situation. On the one hand, the extent and number of natural disasters have increased, and conflicts last longer and are more destructive. On the other hand, there are new actors on the humanitarian aid stage, including non-traditional donors (companies and States) and the civil protection services and armed forces of the Member States. In this context, the EC launched a consultation between its partners and the Member States to strengthen the effectiveness and coordination of EU policies in the field of humanitarian aid. The results of this process fed into a Communication defining a European Consensus on the principles and best practice of humanitarian action.

In 2006 DG ECHO refined its methodology for assessing global humanitarian needs, splitting the GNA into vulnerability and crisis indicators for the 140 developing countries considered, on the basis of factors such as human development, malnutrition and natural disaster risk.

As regards its strategy for reinforcing the EU’s response capacity in the event of disasters and crises in third countries, DG ECHO increased the number of experts in the field and further improved its operational and contractual procedures.

DG ECHO also continued to pursue its communication and information strategy and to develop its security and safety policy for staff engaged in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Key terms used in the act
  • Forgotten crises: Crises that receive little or no media attention and whose victims receive relatively little or no international assistance.
Key figures given in the act
  • Total aid allocated in 2006: 671 million.
  • Main aid recipients: ACP countries (322 million / 48%), Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the New Independent States (177.9 million / 27%), Latin America and Asia (105.5 million / 16%).

Strengthening the European disaster response capacity

Strengthening the European disaster response capacity

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strengthening the European disaster response capacity

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Humanitarian aid

Strengthening the European disaster response capacity

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 26 October 2010 – Towards a stronger European disaster response: the role of civil protection and humanitarian assistance (Text with EEA relevance) [COM(2010) 600 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents a series of proposals to strengthen the European Union’s response capacity in the event of natural or man-made disasters. The EU delivers its assistance to the victims of disasters occurring both in EU member countries and throughout the world.

The new strategy therefore aims to facilitate the mobilisation of skills and resources in the area of civil protection and humanitarian assistance.

These proposals are based on two new provisions of the Lisbon Treaty: Article 196 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which enables the EU to improve European disaster coordination and Article 122 of the TFEU which provides for the establishment of a solidarity fund.

Coherence of the response

The new strategy is based on the bringing together of humanitarian assistance and civil protection services. In this context, a new European Emergency Response Centre is to be set up within the Commission’s Directorate General ECHO. It is to operate in liaison with the civil protection and humanitarian assistance authorities in EU countries, and in coordination with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and EU Delegations in the event of responses in third countries.

The Commission also supports improved coordination with the United Nations (UN), in particular through information exchange. The quality of this information exchange is to be ensured by establishing several levels of focal points down to local level, online communication tools such as the CECIS system and the provision of real-time information.

Efficiency of the response

The strategy aims to improve the efficiency of the response by:

  • planning and advance mapping of resources and capacities in order to ensure immediate deployment;
  • pre-positioning of relief assets, through the establishment of an international logistics network maximising the use of local resources;
  • needs assessment, in the disaster relief phase and then in preparing for the rehabilitation operations;
  • the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of logistics operations, through coordination units at European level;
  • the coordination of transport, by using the private and military sectors and international organisations but also by increasing the options for European co-financing;
  • the use of military assets, in particular by coordinating responses within the Commission.

The Commission also proposes to increase the visibility of the EU’s response by means of a new communication strategy.