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Thursday, 12 August 2010

Special Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid

A special Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid reveals a high level of solidarity among EU citizens with victims of conflict and natural disasters outside the Union. Eight out of ten citizens (79%) think it is important that the EU funds humanitarian aid outside its borders. However, the financial and economic crisis has taken its toll as the approval rate dropped 9% from 88% in 2006 when the last survey was carried out. There is a clear link between this decrease and the individual financial situation of citizens; those who have problems paying their bills expressed less support. At the same time, there is a strong endorsement of the Commission's mandate to provide relief aid, undertaken through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO). An overall majority of EU citizens (58%), and a relative majority in all Member States, think that humanitarian aid is more efficient when provided by the EU through the European Commission. Around one quarter (24%) would prefer that relief funds be channelled through Member States.
The Special Eurobarometer 343 on Humanitarian Aid looked at four major issues:
(1) Importance of EU humanitarian aid activities for EU citizens
(2) Awareness of humanitarian aid and the actors in this domain
(3) Knowledge and information on EU humanitarian aid activities
(4) Common or national approach to humanitarian aid

Source: European Commission