Humanitarian needs are at a record high
More quality, predictable, and flexible funding needed from the Commission and member states
Stress the need for a European humanitarian diplomacy strategy
The Development Committee demands a more innovative humanitarian aid approach, while raising concern about the need for essential aid for current and forgotten crises.
On Tuesday, MEPs in the Development Committee adopted a report on how to build an innovative humanitarian aid strategy, with a spotlight on current and forgotten crises.
In the report – adopted by MEPs by 15 votes in favour, none against and 2 abstentions – the Development Committee emphasises that the Commission and EU member states must substantially increase their humanitarian aid budgets without compromising on existing development budgets. They express their support for Council conclusions adopted in May 2023 that encouraged member states to spend 10% of their development aid on humanitarian relief and and called for their swift application.
In addition to increased aid budgets, and to help resolve the widening humanitarian funding gap, the EU should, as part of its revision of the long-term 2021-2027 budget, include a substantial increase in the humanitarian aid budget. This would reflect the new humanitarian landscape, with high-profile and forgotten crises stretching global capacities, and would equip the EU to better respond to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable. MEPs in their report are keen to emphasise that any funding should be complementary and not substitute existing funding.
Flexible, predictable funding essential
They also recognise the importance of having flexible, predictable, and quality donor funding in times of crises, while also acknowledging the need to expand the donor base by bringing in non-traditional and emerging donor countries, and mobilising private funding. The report also warns against unbalanced distribution of aid to humanitarian crises, while highlighting the importance of increasing funding for climate action and in particular adaptation and disaster risk reduction, education, health, and gender inequalities during crises. MEPs also referenced the need for an EU humanitarian diplomacy strategy.
Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, PT), rapporteur, said: “When the world needs humanitarian principles to be applied more than ever, the approval by a large majority of MEPs of an innovative strategy is a strong position for the European Parliament. It calls for increased funding and improved delivery, placing Parliament on the side of those in need, and those on the ground in emergencies and systemic crises, who are often forgotten.”
The report will now be submitted to a vote in the European Parliament as a whole in plenary, with a current indicative date of November 2023.