Humanitarian Aid

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid visited a children refugee camp

The European Commission’s humanitarian aid department (ECHO) has been providing humanitarian assistance to Sudan since 1994, based on life-saving needs of vulnerable Sudanese people. Having allocated more than € 477 million in humanitarian assistance to date, ECHO’s initial allocation for Sudan and Chad, this year, accounts for € 110 million, making it the single largest operation worldwide for the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid.

In close collaboration with its implementing partners, ECHO in Sudan has adopted a flexible programming approach which allows for the provision of a timely and effective response to the changing humanitarian circumstances due to conflict or disasters, such as population movements, including displacements or returns, or sudden disease outbreaks. ECHO has offices in Khartoum, Nyala in south Darfur and Juba in south Sudan.

As of January 2007, ECHO assumed the responsibility of the European Commission’s food aid budget.

The funds, which will be used for humanitarian food aid, short term food security and nutrition, will be strictly allocated on the basis of needs of the populations at risk. ECHO in Sudan has already prioritised a number of proposed humanitarian interventions for a recently approved amount of €40 million, as a first allocation for 2007, and could be further complemented later this year with additional funds.

ECHO is supporting a wide range of programmes covering extensive areas of Sudan’s vast territory.

With a focus on the current crisis in Darfur and the post-conflict, early recovery environment in south Sudan, ECHO continues to be strongly committed to address the most urgent humanitarian needs related to health, nutrition, water, sanitation, emergency preparedness/response, food aid and food security, as well as operational support to transport, security, humanitarian co-ordination and protection activities.

ECHO Distributes sacks of food at a refugee camp in Darfur to prevent hunger and malnutrition

Operating in an increasingly restrictive environment for aid agencies delivering humanitarian assistance in Darfur, due to widespread insecurity and instability, ECHO continues to contend with the ever increasing humanitarian challenges in order to serve the ongoing needs of the populations displaced by conflict. Elsewhere in Sudan, ECHO is firmly engaged in supporting crises caused by disease outbreaks and displacements of populations due to insecurity; with a strong focus on civilian protection and the provision of basic services for the displaced people and refugees returning to southern Sudan.

An overview of ECHO

Humanitarian assistance occupies a key position in the European Union’s external action. ECHO, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department, is the world’s main donor in this field.

ECHO was established in 1992. Its mandate is to provide emergency assistance and relief to the victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts outside the European Union, irrespective of their race, religion or political convictions. ECHO’s role is to ensure the quick delivery of essential goods and services to crisis zones through partners such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), United Nations (UN) agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent/Red Crystal movement.

Since 1992, ECHO has funded humanitarian action in more than 85 countries. ECHO’s grants, covering emergency relief, food aid and assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons, total to more than €500 million per year. Through ECHO’s funding, an estimated 18 million people are helped each year in more than 60 countries through 200 implementing partners.

Sudanese Mothers and Children benefit from European Humanitarian Aid to Sudan

Apart from funding, ECHO also covers a wide range of other activities, such as,

  • feasibility studies;
  • monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian operations;
  • setting-up of coordination arrangements;
  • supporting disaster preparedness and response;
  • strengthening institutions;
  • giving technical assistance to partners;
  • raising public awareness on humanitarian issues;
  • financing networks and training;
  • and supporting study initiatives in the humanitarian fields.

For more information on ECHO Humanitarian Projects, please contact the following:

European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection Office (ECHO)
Address: Street 33, Plot 58, Khartoum 2
Tel: +249 183 59 19 62 / + 249 183 596596
Fax: +249 183 58 12 52