Africa priority target for EU actions in 2012
By Eric van Puyvelde | Friday 16 December 2011
A total of €640 million is foreseen for EU humanitarian actions in 2012, which will target 36 countries or regions. In the plan for allocation of this aid, presented on 16 December, the European Commission states that, based on assessment of the needs of the world’s most vulnerable populations, the five largest humanitarian operations will be in Sudan (North and South - €87 million), the Democratic Republic of Congo (€44 million), the occupied Palestinian territory (€40 million), the Sahel (€45 million) and the Horn of Africa (€102 million). All of these are large-scale, protracted crises resulting from conflict and food shortages or both.
The largest operation in budgetary terms is sub-Saharan Africa, for which 52% of the Commission’s humanitarian aid is reserved. «One of the biggest crises already looming on the horizon is the food emergency in the Sahel,» commented Kristalina Georgieva, the commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis response.
Around 15% of the budget is dedicated to forgotten crises, areas that get little media attention and where the Commission is often the long major donor. For 2012, these include the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria, the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and the victims of armed conflict in the Central African Republic.
In addition to the €640 million the Commission has allocated to the most intractable humanitarian problems around the globe, reserve resources are available during the year for unpredictable crises and disasters. In 2011, the entire reserve was used due to major disasters in Japan, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire and the Horn of Africa. These emergency financial decisions brought the total amount of humanitarian funding from the Commission to over €1.1 billion.
Commissioner Georgieva added: «The resources currently available for humanitarian aid and civil protection are being far outstripped by needs. I am very aware of the difficult economic situation currently facing many European countries. This is why we will do more than ever to deliver an efficient and value-for-money service».
Humanitarian aid will continue to be delivered through United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations, the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.
The Commission also plans to build on the work already underway to develop the resilience of vulnerable communities and to build bridges between relief and development actions.
The Commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection website is at
The largest operation in budgetary terms is sub-Saharan Africa