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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC)


What is it?

The European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC) is a set of operational tools designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian response to sudden-onset natural hazards and human-induced disasters.

This resource will help the Commission support partners and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance where the humanitarian community struggles with the immediate response. It will also help cover the immediate needs of the affected population.

Coordinated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), the EHRC is based on 3 pillars:

  1. provision of common logistics services to EU humanitarian partners (among others, air and land transport operations and warehousing systems)
  2. prepositioned stockpiles of emergency items in critical areas worldwide
  3. provision of expertise, mainly in the health sector, currently under development

Why is this important?

Today, humanitarian needs are at an all-time high. According to the United Nations, in 2022,
274 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection. This is a significant increase from the 235 million people in need in 2021, which was already the highest figure in decades.

On top of an already challenging humanitarian situation worldwide, COVID-19 has severely affected vulnerable communities, putting a strain on food security, education and health care, among other areas.

As needs soar, humanitarian actors are called to step up to the challenge. They must adapt to fast-changing scenarios where even the shortest delay in the field response might cost lives and further deteriorate the situation.

Through the EHRC, the EU aims to respond to sudden humanitarian disasters where swift assistance is vital and face new developments in protracted crises.

The EHRC initiative allows the EU to intervene proactively, drawing from its resources. This is done through targeted actions involving EU partners already active in the field and participating EU countries.

Infographic on the EHRC


How are we helping?

To ensure a swift humanitarian response to a sudden onset disaster and/or worsening of an existing crisis, the EHRC tools are mobilised thanks to the coordination of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).

Based on a prior evaluation and assessment, the ERCC leads the response and decides where and how the tools should be used.

In addition, following a “Team Europe”approach, the EHRC will offer further opportunities for EU countries to work together to respond to emergencies.

The first 2 pillars of the EHRC complementing the existing tools for the EU humanitarian response are:

Common logistics services

The common logistics services include (i) the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operations, (ii) a greater variety of transport options such as international and in-country (last mile) transportation solutions, (iii) warehousing services, and (iv) other logistics options.

The strengthening of these logistics services aims to fill critical gaps by facilitating humanitarian aid delivery and reinforce humanitarian or emergency responses.

Pre-positioned stockpiles

The stockpiles hold humanitarian aid supplies such as emergency kits (shelter, wash and hygiene kits) and other good to fulfil urgent needs in case of an emergency. Their regional pre-positioning helps deliver the items as quickly as possible, allowing them to be deployed to the affected areas as soon as there is a need.

The EU offers stockpiled goods managed by the EHRC to its humanitarian partners free of charge and can be complemented with other supplies from participating EU countries. The stockpiles will be hosted in 4 countries worldwide, being available from the second half of 2022.


In April 2022, the EHRC rolled out an operation in the Republic of Moldova consisting of setting up a warehouse in Chisinau for humanitarian partners and delivering over 1,200 EU-owned tents and 4,000 blankets for people displaced by the conflict. This delivery reached Moldova thanks to the implementation of 2 EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operations transporting the humanitarian cargo.

Also, since April, the EHRC is conducting another operation inside Ukraine to support humanitarian partners in enhancing the delivery of humanitarian aid in the deep field.

The operation consists of the set-up of 2 warehouses in Vinnytsia and Dnipro, and the establishment of a trucking system to deploy humanitarian supplies closer to the front lines where the needs are the highest. All the EHRC facilities are at the disposal of humanitarian partners free of charge.

So far in 2022, the EHRC also successfully launched 6 Humanitarian Air Bridge operations in aid of Afghanistan, transporting over 200 tonnes of humanitarian goods.

Last updated: 14/06/2022

Facts & figures

The EHRC is a set of operational tools designed to fill gaps in the humanitarian response.

It consists of 3 pillars:

  • pre-positioned stockpiles with humanitarian aid supplies
  • common logistics services
  • provision of expertise

3 warehouses and trucking system implemented in Moldova and Ukraine to enhance the humanitarian response for Russia’s invasion on Ukraine.

6 Humanitarian Air Bridge operations for Afghanistan in 2022.