Civil Protection Financial Instrument – DG ECHO

The European Union as a whole is the world’s biggest donors of humanitarian aid, contributing more than half of official global humanitarian aid.

The Commission’s European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) was created in 1992 as an expression of the European solidarity. In 2004 ECHO became the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid before integrating Civil Protection in 2010 for a better coordination and disaster response inside and outside Europe.

The Office is dealing with two topics:

  • Humanitarian Aid: The EU’s humanitarian assistance is based on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
  • Civil Protection: The key instrument for European civil protection is the Civil Protection Mechanism (CPM) which was established in 2001.

The European civil protection covers three phases of the disaster management cycle: Prevention, Preparedness & Response:

  • Prevention: Investing in risk prevention and preparedness before a disaster takes place pays significant dividends compared to paying for relief, recovery and reconstruction afterwards.
  • Preparedness: Preparatory measures are undertaken at EU level to allow rapid mobilization of assistance intervention teams in case of emergency, as well to ensure effective response capability and complementarily of assets.
  • Response: The CPM interventions cover all types of major emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters, acts of terrorism and technological, radiological and environmental accidents, including accidental marine pollution.

The Civil Protection Financial Instrument was set up in 2007 and aims at supporting and complementing the efforts of Member States for the protection, primarily of people, but also of the environment and property, including cultural heritage, in the event of natural and man-made disasters, acts of terrorism and technological, radiological or environmental accidents.