Disaster relief, humanitarian intervention and economic recovery

EU humanitarian intervention: the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO)
The whole international community has to face to humanitarian disasters or natural catastrophic events that affect the stability of a region or of a geographical area. In this scenario the European Community fits its important role, ensuring ready humanitarian intervention in order to save people affected by disasters. It doesn't matter the reasons of disasters: the EU ensure its assistence by promoting financial interventions, goods and basic services or humanitarian aid. EU considers humanitarian aid as the basic expression of solidarity between States and its humanitarian aid is based on three main principles, it means neutrality, independency and impartiality. EU humanitarian aid can be distinguished into three main cathegories, such as emergency aid, food aid and aid addressed to refugees. Eu humanitarian aid lasts six mounths, so it covers a short time after the disaster during which the EU itself promotes reconstructions and post-emergency programmes : the reason is that the EU wants to guarantee a ready reaction of the population and local institutions in order to let them be able to face the situation on their own. This type of reaction also prevent the displacement of the population that can move away to find better conditions. This reduces the risk of the population or the region affected by the disasters to became dependent by foreing aid. So, the main goal to pursue concerns local authorities: by promoting its humanitarian aid, EU tries to form local institutions, conceived as the key-point to prevent any kind of disastersAfter six mounths, EU generally promotes development programmes addressed to the most vulnerable sectors. The European Commission works to ensure coordination between the EU member States and the European Community Humanitarian Office, that guarantee a ready intervention to face emergencies or natural disasters. ECHO - established in the erly 90s to guarantee ready intervention in case of emergencies (ensuring financial, tecnical or medical support) - enjoy the collaboration of its principal partners such as the Unted Nations, the Red Cross International Committee or the NGOs. ECHO displaces EU humanitarian aid in particular in Africa and in Asia. ECHO principal activities concern humanitarian assistence and post-emergency support to the victims and to the population, in order to promote a neutral and non-discriminatory aid. ECHO activities costs are supported by the EU, so by public founds: due to this reason ECHO always tries to ensure to its interventions the highest benefits and the lowest costs. Concluding, ECHO - working in partnership with international institutions or organizations to prevent disasters or humanitarian emegencies in the next future and in the most vulnerable geographical areas, has a main goal: to ensure an appropriate response to the basic need of the populations hit by disasters.


Code of Conduct - Red Cross and NGOs (1994)

The Code of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, was developed and agreed upon by eight of the world's largest disaster response agencies in the summer of 1994, such as Biafra and Rwanda

1. The humanitarian imperative comes first.
2. Aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.
3. Aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.
4. We shall endeavour not to act as instruments of government foreign policy.
5. We shall respect culture and custom.
6. We shall attempt to build disaster response on local capacities.
7. Ways shall be found to involve programme beneficiaries in the management of relief aid.
8. Relief aid must strive to reduce future vulnerabilities to disaster as well as meeting basic needs.
9. We hold ourselves accountable to both those we seek to assist and those from whom we accept resources.
10. In our information, publicity and advertising activities, we shall recognize disaster victims as dignified humans, not hopeless objects.