European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO)
The Humanitarian Aid Office was founded in 1992, as indication of the European solidarity to the people in need for providing help all over the world. In 2004 the Service continued its work as European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO). While in 2010 in the field of its responsibilities, the civil protection was included, targeting better coordination and more effective confrontation of disasters, within and out of the borders of EU.
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) is headquartered in Brussels.
Its work is not limited only to the confrontation of the immediate consequences of a disaster. It covers many more stages: prevention, preparedness, confrontation and restoration. This involves a wide range of activities aimed at:
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection is assisted by the Civil Protection Committee which comprises of representatives of EU Member States, candidate countries and representatives from the European Economic Area. The Civil Defence Force participates with a representative at the Civil Protection Committee and also at other subcommittees having the purpose to support its work.
· Reducing the danger of disasters, i.e. thanks to strategies for limiting the effects of climate change
· Improve preparedness i.e. by developing means, like early warning systems,
· Ensure a smooth transition, after the completion of the emergency operations, mainly through the cartography of appropriate exit strategies,
· Reinforce the overall shielding of the population i.e. connecting the provision of emergency aid with “tools” of long-term recovery and development.