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Europe's support for humanitarian action

EU News 353/2014

Brussels, 19 August 2014

Every year on 19 August, World Humanitarian Day is observed in memory of the victims of the attack on the United Nations' headquarters in Baghdad (Iraq) in 2003 which caused the death of 22 people including the UN Special Representative in Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello.

The European Union – the Commission and Member States - is the world's largest donor of humanitarian aid. EU work in this area has the overwhelming support of European citizens: nine out of ten say it's important that the EU funds humanitarian aid according to the most recent Eurobarometer survey.

The European Commission helped 124 million people in more than 90 countries in 2013 and this year it continues to assist those in the greatest need, including the victims of the conflicts in Syria, Central African Republic and South Sudan, the survivors of natural disasters in Asia, those affected by food insecurity in the Sahel and vulnerable populations trapped in 'forgotten' crises such as the plight of Colombian refugees or the conflict in Kachin in Myanmar/Burma.

The Commission delivers its humanitarian assistance to those who need it the most in partnership with more than 200 humanitarian organisations, including non-governmental and international organizations, the United Nations and the Red Cross societies. Through the solidarity of European citizens, thousands of humanitarian workers bring assistance and hope to victims of conflicts and natural disasters. Unhindered and safe access to victims is essential to save the lives of those in need.

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