Statement: More EU humanitarian aid needed to bridge critical funding gap 

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The Chair of the Committee on Development, Tomas Tobé, warns of the dire situation of EU funding for humanitarian aid and calls for increased financial commitments to bridge the funding gap.

Following a meeting of the Committee on Development on Wednesday 1 March, during which MEPs discussed the humanitarian needs in Türkiye and Syria following the recent earthquakes in those countries, as well as the humanitarian situation in Ukraine a year on from the start of Russia’s war of aggression, Committee Chair Tomas Tobé (EPP, SV) said:

"I am seriously concerned about the rapidly growing global humanitarian funding gap and I call on the international community, the EU and its member states to provide additional funding for the provision of life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people.

"In December 2022 the United Nations launched a record appeal ($51 billion) to cover the costs of humanitarian relief requirements to alleviate the needs of 339 million people around the world. This figure has already been rendered outdated by various crises, notably the devastating earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria on 6 February 2023. I welcome the mobilisation of €185 million from the EU’s Solidarity and Emergency Aid Reserve (SEAR) to support the food security crises in Africa and in Yemen, as well as the multi sectoral crisis in Venezuela.

"This mobilisation of SEAR funds so early in the year shows that the humanitarian aid budget is not adequate to respond to the growing needs around the world. It is certain that additional money will be needed in the coming months. I therefore call on the Commission to be ready to mobilise additional funds for humanitarian aid from the SEAR and other budgetary tools at its disposal, to ensure the EU’s response to humanitarian needs throughout the year is sufficient.

"I call also on member states to increase their own humanitarian aid funding commitments and, in the medium and long term, to continue exploring ways to broaden the humanitarian resource base by engaging with non-traditional donors and the private sector. The second European Humanitarian Forum, co-organised by DG ECHO and the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, that will take place on 20-21 March 2023 in Brussels represents an important opportunity to move forward this discussion on effective solutions to close the humanitarian funding gap.”