“EU Aid Volunteers” will be deployed to tackle specific humanitarian needs in crises under draft legislation approved by the MEPs on Tuesday. The budget for the scheme is €147,936,000 for 2014 – 2020.
The EU is the world’s largest humanitarian aid donor, providing almost 50 % of global humanitarian aid.
NGOs wishing to take part in the scheme as volunteer “sending” or “hosting” organisations would first have to be certified by the European Commission. NGOs will identify candidate volunteers, on the basis of prior assessment of the needs in third countries, to be trained in a programme developed by the European Commission.
This training may also be tailored "to the needs and special circumstances of the place of deployment".
Once volunteers have completed their training and passed an assessment, they will be eligible for deployment and included in a database kept by the Commission.
EU aid volunteers will not be deployed “to operations conducted in the theatre of international and non-international armed conflicts, and their deployment must “meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations".
EU member states, potential candidate and candidate countries, EU neighborhood partner countries and EFTA countries may sign up to this initiative, so that their citizens can be eligible for it.