EU Increases Annual Humanitarian Aid Budget by 60%
The European Commission has adopted its initial annual humanitarian budget of €1.4 billion for 2021. This 2021 budget represents an increase of more than 60% compared with the initial humanitarian budget of €900 million adopted last year. The significant increase to the budget reflects the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and of global climate change.
Commenting on the details of the budget, Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management called on international partners to step up in order to bridge the gap between unprecedented humanitarian needs and financial resources.
Commissioner Lenarčič said, ‘Humanitarian needs are growing globally, and we need a budget to match. Our increased budget will allow the EU to continue to play a leading global role in responding to emerging and existing crises. Ultimately, humanitarian aid is about saving lives. Yet the gap between the financial resources provided by donors and the rapidly increasing humanitarian needs in 2021 is growing. To leave no one behind we therefore need more international partners to step up to fill this gap. We should not forget that only a global response will solve global issues, such as the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, which affects everyone.
Allocation of the budget includes €505 million to support those affected by the long-term Lake Chad Basin crisis, impacting Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad; those suffering from food and nutrition crisis, worsened by security incidents and community conflicts, in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger); and those displaced by armed conflicts in South Sudan, Central African Republic and Horn of Africa (Somalia and Ethiopia).
€385 million of EU humanitarian funding will be allocated in the Middle East and Turkey to help those affected by the Syria regional crisis, as well as the extremely severe situation in Yemen.
€180 million in humanitarian assistance will continue to help the most vulnerable populations in Asia and Latin America. In Latin America, this includes those affected by the crises in Venezuela and Colombia. The European Union will also continue to provide help in Asian countries such as Afghanistan, where the conflict has been qualified as one of the deadliest conflicts worldwide, and Bangladesh, which is currently hosting almost one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. The EU will also allocate €28 million to fund projects addressing crises in Ukraine, Western Balkans and the Caucasus.
The rest of the funding, €302 million, will be used for EU humanitarian air services and for unforeseen humanitarian crises or sudden peaks in existing crises.