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Brussels, 1 February 2011

Simpler, faster and better delivery of €622,3 million for humanitarian assistance

Humanitarian aid will be delivered faster and more efficiently following a set of decisions adopted by the European Commission today. The first of these decisions will allocate more than €564 million to fund relief operations in crisis zones across the world. Two other decisions will allocate €34.3 million and €24 million respectively for risk reduction and preparedness in disaster-prone areas and for helping humanitarian partners improve their response capacity.

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "Humanitarian needs are on the rise world-wide. As one of the major donors of humanitarian assistance, the European Union needs continuously to improve the quality of delivery.” She added: "With this new approach in our funding decisions, we are committing €622 million up front, i.e. 73% of our initial budget. As from today, our aid will be implemented faster, it will offer more predictability to our partners and significantly streamline the decision-making process by reducing 55 decisions to three."

The revamped decision-making system will apply mainly to aid for longer humanitarian crises, which used to be disbursed by 55 separate funding decisions. For sudden disasters, the current mechanism of fast-track decisions will stay in place, as it allows for emergency aid to be disbursed within 72 hours from the EU humanitarian aid budget to the disaster-affected country. Funding allocations will still be driven by humanitarian needs and distributed according to individual country/regional strategies. Under the umbrella of the main global decision, detailed implementation plans are drawn up for specific crisis zones such as Sudan, the Sahel, the Middle East, Haiti and Pakistan.

The Commission, through its network of humanitarian experts, is uniquely placed as a donor to assess the needs in the field and monitor the operations that it funds. Based on these assessments, the country/region strategies will be reviewed throughout the duration of the funding decision, and revised if necessary. The new arrangements will also improve coordination with implementing partners and other humanitarian stakeholders.

For information on Commission's humanitarian aid:

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