Back to overview

EU institutions


Key Figures 2013 HAVE BEEN UPDATED. The rest of the tabs will be updated by end-2014.

Total Assistance:

US$15.2 billion

Humanitarian Assistance:

US$1.9 billion

Contributions to EU




Fast Facts

  1. The EU institutions were collectively the second largest donor of official humanitarian assistance in 2013
  2. 69.7% of the EU institutions’ official humanitarian assistance was spent in fragile states in 2011
  3. 41.8% of the EU institutions’ official humanitarian assistance was spent in countries classified as long term recipients of humanitarian assistance in 2011

The EU institutions are collectively a unique humanitarian donor due to a status not only as a major donor of aid but also as a major multilateral recipient, receiving funding from the member states of the EU. Since 2003 the EU institutions have been the second largest aid donor every year, excluding 2010 when it was fourth, and has contributed over US$133 billion between 2003 and 2012. In terms of humanitarian assistance, the EU institutions have consistently been the second largest donor every year between 2000 and 2012, giving just under US1.9 billion in 2012

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) changed the way it reports aid from the European Union (EU). Instead of exclusive reporting by the European Commission (EC) aid is now reported by European institutions. These institutions comprise the EC development budget, the European Development Fund (the main instrument for providing community aid for development cooperation in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific states and overseas countries and territories) and the European Investment Bank (the EU’s financing institution, which supports projects that will deliver sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits). The European Commission remains the key aid stakeholder of the EU institutions.

The European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Office (ECHO) administer most of the EU institutions’ humanitarian assistance, with some funds also originating from the EuropeAid Development and Cooperation Division (DEVCO). Through ECHO, the EU institutions are jointly a significant actor in the humanitarian system, not only in terms of funding, but also being heavily involved in policy debates and developments in humanitarian financing and implementation, as well as being one of the few donors to have significant humanitarian representation in the field.

In December 2006, the EC launched a wide-ranging consultation of EU member states and humanitarian organisations on a proposed European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid that would deal with the main issues facing donor and implementing organisations. The Consensus document was approved by the European Parliament on 29 November 2007. The EU institutions’ guideline on operational priorities for humanitarian aid in 2013 focuses on aid effectiveness, results-orientation and impact as well as crossing cutting issues such as WASH, gender, nutrition and disaster risk reduction.  The five largest humanitarian operations in 2013 will focus on the Sahel region of West Africa with further response to the conflict in Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, DRC, Pakistan and Somalia.

In 2011 the EU institutions announced in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014–2020 an end to bilateral aid to 17 upper middle-income countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Thailand, Venezuela and Uruguay) as well as two large lower-income countries whose gross domestic product (GDP) is larger than 1% of global GDP (India and Indonesia). Countries such as China, Brazil and India will be seen more as “EU partners for addressing global challenges”.

In 2012 the EU was peer reviewed by the OECD DAC and commended for implementing a strong policy framework, yet encouraged to simplify administrative procedures.



You can access various indicators and indices, together with information on engagement and data publication for each country from this Google Doc.