The European Commission has launched today the first of six EIC Horizon Prizes, on Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid. EIC Horizon Prizes are part of the European Innovation Council pilot run under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.
International Volunteer Day, observed every year on 5 December, is an occasion to celebrate the contribution of individual volunteers and organisations.
Well-trained volunteers carry out practical action that helps communities affected by, or at risk of disaster. As such, EU Aid Volunteers focuses on building the local capacity and resilience of communities by providing support to the most vulnerable population groups, enabling communities to better prepare for and respond to disasters in the future.
The Commission has announced new measures to tailor EU humanitarian aid to people with disabilities caught up in crisis situations. From now on EU-funded projects will cover the needs of people with disabilities in a more structured way.
On 7th December the European Commission announced new humanitarian aid of €25 million to support civilians in desperate need in Yemen. This brings the total EU funding to €196.7 million since the start of the conflict in 2015.
The current measures restricting humanitarian and commercial access together with the intense armed clashes and air strikes reported from Sana'a over recent days threaten to further deprive people from food, water and basic services.
Following the floods caused by Guatemala’s exceptionally strong rain season, the European Commission is providing €90 000 in humanitarian aid to assist 3500 people in the central Alta Verapaz department.
This assistance will support the Guatemalan Red Cross in delivering much-needed assistance to victims of the floods. The most vulnerable families will receive €90 in cash, water storage equipment and filters, as well as mosquito nets and repellents to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.
People in Ethiopia are facing increasingly dangerous levels of food insecurity due to severe drought. To combat the worsening humanitarian situation, the European Commission has committed new emergency assistance of €15 million bringing the total amount allocated to Ethiopia in 2017 to over €91 million.
The assistance comes as number of refugees arriving from neighbouring Eritrea, Somalia, and South Sudan, is also constantly increasing, as is the number of internally displaced people.
The Commission announced additional humanitarian aid for two major projects through the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey, that both work by providing monthly transfers via debit card.
The Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) which is implemented by the World Food Programme will receive €650 million. A further €50 million will boost the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) project implemented by UNICEF.
Following a series of eruptions of Mount Agung volcano in Indonesia’s island of Bali which began late September, the European Commission will provide €100 000 to deliver emergency relief assistance to the most affected families. The aid will directly benefit 11 000 people in some of the worst-hit districts of Bangli, Bulenleng, Gianyar, and Karangasem.
In response to Typhoon Damrey, which wreaked havoc across large parts of Vietnam’s central and south-central regions in early November, the European Commission is providing €200 000 in humanitarian aid funding to assist the most affected communities. The aid will respond to the urgent needs of more than 10 000 heavily-impacted people in the provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa.
Albania experienced extreme and intense rainfall in December, causing many rivers to burst their banks and triggering floods in the southern regions of the country. Overflowing rivers have damaged road infrastructure and properties. As a result, 21 000 people are in need of assistance and 8000 people are particularly affected in the south of the country.