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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

How does the EU ensure diversity and inclusion in humanitarian aid?

Conflicts and disasters impact people differently. The EU provides needs-based humanitarian assistance to those affected, with particular attention to the most vulnerable. Aid is channelled impartially regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality, or political affiliation.

Group of people on person looking at the lens
© European Union, 2022 (photographer: Wojtek Radwanski)

The month of May has been defined the European Diversity Month across the European Union, as part of the diversity and inclusion agenda of the Commission.

As a major contributor to global humanitarian aid, the EU is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in its humanitarian interventions.

Main principles

  1. In line with the humanitarian principles, EU humanitarian aid is provided to all based on needs and without discrimination. Learn more.
  2. Leaving no one behind and catering for groups at risk of marginalisation is at the core of our mandate.
  3. Mainstreaming of basic protection principles is of paramount importance. Allhumanitarian partners are required topromote meaningful access, safety, dignity, accountability, participation and empowerment for all social groups in all humanitarian projects, regardless of the sector. Read more.
  4. We are committed to strengthen accountability to affected populations. Communities and individuals should be meaningfully and continuously involved in decisions that directly impact their lives. This principle is also mainstreamed in our humanitarian projects.
  5. We integrate gender and age considerations to address the specific needs of the most vulnerable. This way, the EU recognises the unique vulnerabilities or the specific challenges faced by women, men, girls and boys, and older people during crises, and actively work to address their needs. See how.
  6. It is estimated that 15% of the global population has a disability. This proportion is likely even higher in humanitarian crises. Making humanitarian action inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities remains our priority. Discover more.
  7. The EU recognises the importance of including local actors in its humanitarian operations. Through localisation, we empower local actors and put the affected communities at the centre of the humanitarian response. Read more.

Diversity and inclusion in action

a face illuminated from behind
Providing psychosocial assistance to transgender and intersex people in Bangladesh

Riya Moni is 28 years old. She is a transgender woman living in Cox’s Bazar, the largest Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. At an EU-funded space space, Riya found the assistance she needed.

Read more

Photo of Amina, in the background a sofa.
Cash assistance for women affected by the earthquake in Syria

Recovery after the devastating earthquakes will be difficult, as strict gender roles limit women’s options for employment in an already overcrowded job market. We address the most urgent needs of women in Syria trough the provision of cash grants.

Learn more

2 boys sitting at a desk in a class room
Ensuring access to education for children and young adults with visual impairment

With almost 3.8 million in need of support in Niger, young adults with disabilities are some of the most at-risk, with many being out of school. We work to ensure they have access to education.

Read more

An international staff

ECHO field map
We have regional offices in more than 40 countries around the world.
In January 2023, our staff comprised 51% women and 49% men, both in our field offices and headquarters.
international experts
Part of our field staff is locally recruited, so we have experts both from the EU and the countries where we are present.

Field stories

Drawing of a woman carrying a big blower
Showing the strength of Syrian women and girls in a war-torn place

For the past 11 years, Syria’s conflict has taken a massive toll on every Syrian, particularly women and girls.

What drives them to live another day, despite the myriad of dangers they face?

Discover their stories

Man with a leg prothese sitting on a chair
Türkiye: providing support for refugees with disabilities

Najim lost one of his legs 5 years ago when an air attack hit his village in Syria.

See how EU humanitarian aid helped him with a prosthesis and adapted physiotherapy.

Read more

Aid worker and old woman shaking hands while laughing.
Female and on the front line: the women of civil protection

For this year’s International Women’s Day, we spoke with Ingeborg Hasli, a woman at the forefront of European civil protection operations.

Meet her

Children sitting on a bench along a wall, while a nurse inspects their health.
Children under attack: caring for Mali’s youngest victims of armed groups

With EU humanitarian support, children exiting armed forces and groups in Mali, as well as survivors of sexual violence, receive holistic care.

Learn more