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European Community Humanitarian aid Office (ECHO) is the European Commission's department for humanitarian aid. In 2007 it provided €768 million (approx. USD 1,100 million) for emergency relief[1].

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ECHO was established in 1992 by the Second Delors Commission. It comes under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Development & Humanitarian Aid, formerly Louis Michel. Funding from the office affects 18 million people every year in 60 countries. It spends €700 million a year on humanitarian projects through its over 200 partners (such as the Red Cross, Relief NGOs and UN agencies). It claims a key focus is to make EU aid more effective and humanitarian.[2]

Budget

In 2006, ECHO's aid budget amounted to 671 million euro, 48% of which went to the ACP countries.[3] Together with the aid given by member states individually, the Union is the largest aid donor in the world.[4]

Reform

The former commissioner for aid, Louis Michel, had called for aid to be delivered more rapidly, to greater effect and on humanitarian principles.[4]

Some charities have claimed European governments have inflated the amount they have spent on aid by incorrectly including money spent on debt relief, foreign students and refugees. Under the de-inflated figures, the Union did not reach its internal aid target in 2006.[5]

See also

References

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The Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission (ECHO), formerly known as the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office, is the European Commission's department for overseas humanitarian aid. In 2007 it provided €768 million (approx. USD 1.1 billion) for emergency relief[1].

Contents

Background

European Union

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the European Union

 [[Template:FULLPAGENAME: Politics of the European Union|v]]  [[{{TALKPAGENAME:Template:FULLPAGENAME: Politics of the European Union}}|d]]  [{{fullurl:Template:FULLPAGENAME: Politics of the European Union|action=edit}}e] 

European Community Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) was established in 1992 by the Second Delors Commission. Funding from the office affects 18 million people every year in 60 countries. It spends €700 million a year on humanitarian projects through its over 200 partners (such as the Red Cross, Relief NGOs and UN agencies). It claims a key focus is to make EU aid more effective and humanitarian.[2] With the European Community being abolished in 2009, the office began to be known as the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission or European Union, but kept its ECHO abbreviation.

Budget

In 2006, ECHO's aid budget amounted to 671 million euro, 48% of which went to the ACP countries.[3] Together with the aid given by member states individually, the Union is the largest aid donor in the world.[4]

Reform

The former commissioner for aid, Louis Michel, had called for aid to be delivered more rapidly, to greater effect and on humanitarian principles.[4]

Some charities have claimed European governments have inflated the amount they have spent on aid by incorrectly including money spent on debt relief, foreign students and refugees. Under the de-inflated figures, the Union did not reach its internal aid target in 2006.[5]

Since February 2010 after the approval of the new college of the European Commission the ECHO was put on another level. The appointment of a new commissioner with portfolio for International cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response corresponds to the Articles of the Treaty of Lisbon where Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection play a sustainable role. ECHO's new official name was changed to Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. The transformation of ECHO and movement of Civil Protection Units from DG Environment to DG ECHO is a step forward to a better cooperation and decision making in a field where rapid reaction is lifesaving.

European Parliament Report

The Committee on Development (CD) of the European Parliament (EP) commissioned the Overseas Development Institute to undertake a project on the effectiveness of international development assistance from the European Commission[6]. The project focused on the cases of Cambodia, Mozambique and Peru. The findings and policy suggested can be summarized as follows[6]:

  1. Harmonisation and alignment (H&A) is crucial for state capacity and should be expanded from sharing and spreading information to increasing joint activities in the short-term.
  2. Donor harmonisation efforts need to be scaled up to include agreements on joint technical assistance and the streamlining of systems and procedures
  3. Extremely fragmented aid systems impose unreasonably high transaction costs on the government, drains valuable resources, and fundamentally weakens state capacity.
  4. EC procedures and structures remain highly complicated and bureaucratic.
  5. Much of the success or failure of cooperation depends on individual interactions, specific innovators and appropriate staffing levels to carry out the tasks at hand, but the costs are also quite high.
  6. Country Strategy Papers could improve aid effectiveness — but their quality is uneven.
  7. Relations between HQ and delegations needs to be improved.

See also

References

External links


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