FPA & Partnership

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The Commission is responsible for designing and implementing the Union policy in the field of Humanitarian Aid.
The European Union's humanitarian aid is intended to provide assistance, relief and protection to people in third countries who are victims of natural, man-made disasters or complex emergencies, in order to meet their humanitarian needs.

Humanitarian Aid provided is based on International law, specifically with international humanitarian law and refugee law and the fundamental humanitarian principles of:

  • humanity means that human suffering must be addressed wherever it is found
  • impartiality means that humanitarian aid must be provided solely on the basis of need, without discrimination between or within affected populations;
  • neutrality means that humanitarian Action must not favour any side in an armed conflict or other dispute;
  • independence means the autonomy of humanitarian objectives from the political, military, or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian Action is being implemented. This principle serves to ensure that the sole purpose of humanitarian aid remains to relieve and prevent the suffering of humanitarian crises. Humanitarian aid is not a crisis management tool, as it does not pursue objectives such as conflict prevention and resolution.

Since the Commission does not intervene directly on the ground, the humanitarian programmes are implemented through Partners organisations that share with the DG ECHO common general objectives.

The Partners organisations are selected among United Nations relief agencies, members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, International Organisations (IOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The Partnership with the Commission is enshrined in a Framework Agreement that varies according to the type of Partner involved: