The European Union has adopted its highest ever humanitarian aid budget for 2019, with a total of €1.6 billion.
The largest proportion of the funding provided in the humanitarian aid budget will be given to causes in Syria and Yemen, both of which are experiencing ongoing humanitarian crises; and to displaced refugees staying in neighbouring countries. In Africa, aid will be allocated to crisis-hit regions in South Sudan, Central African Republic, the Lake Chad basin; regions affected by severe food and nutrition crises such as Sahel; and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there is currently an outbreak of Ebola.
The EU humanitarian aid budget will also provide funding to regions of South America, including vulnerable populations affected by the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and those hit by conflict in Colombia. In Myanmar and Bangladesh, aid provision will be focused on vulnerable and displaced Rohingya Muslim populations; while in Europe, funding will be allocated for citizens affected by conflict and international abuses in Ukraine.
As the effects of climate change become more obvious and more destructive, portions of the humanitarian aid budget will go towards helping vulnerable communities prepare for extreme weather events – such as floods, droughts and cyclones – in countries prone to natural disasters.
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: “With this new humanitarian aid budget, the EU remains a leading humanitarian donor in the face of crises such as Syria and Yemen. Humanitarian aid alone cannot solve all problems, but we must do everything in our power to help the most vulnerable. This is our humanitarian duty. We must also think about the impact of these many crises on children, on the next generation. That’s why a record 10% of the new budget, 10 times more than in 2015, is dedicated to education in emergencies, so we can give children the tools to build a better future.”