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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Commission celebrates World Humanitarian Day

19 August is World Humanitarian Day and as every year since 2008, tomorrow the European Commission will honour those who dedicate their lives to preserving and improving the lives of others who need assistance to survive.

"Humanitarian workers are humble but their achievement is not: each of them can make a difference for hundreds of human beings and this could be the difference between life or death, between starvation and deprivation or promise and self-sufficiency,” pointed out Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Collectively, the EU is the world's largest humanitarian donor – since the start of this year it has delivered over 37% of global humanitarian funding. The Commission is actively engaged in ensuring that Europe's leadership in the humanitarian sphere delivers concrete results. Its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Directorate General (ECHO) has more than 400 people working in 47 field offices anywhere in the world where humanitarian aid is needed.

The Commission collaborates with over 200 relief organisations. Its humanitarian partners include 14 United Nations agencies, 191 non-governmental organisations and three international organisations (The International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent, The International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent and the International Organisation for Migration).

In 2010, the Commission funded the activities of the world's most efficient humanitarian aid operators with €1.115 billion. This support is translated into relief and hope for 151 millions of suffering people in 80 countries.

Source: European Commission

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