Caritas calls for consistency on the implementation of the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid: “EU humanitarian aid is not a crisis management tool”
Brussels, 13 April 2012 - Anne Street, Senior Humanitarian Advisor from CAFOD, and Jann Sjursen, Secretary General of Caritas Denmark, presented the main findings and recommendations of the report ‘Bridging the Gap report between Policy and Practice on the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid’. SG Sjursen thanked the Danish Presidency for the opportunity and emphasized the importance of the EU Consensus on Humanitarian Aid as a comprehensive, forward-looking policy framework, essential for humanitarian actors to build trust and acceptance of assistance.
In her presentation, Ms Street insisted that solid implementation of the Consensus and its’ Action Plan (2008-2013), by the 27 EU Member States, is essential if the EU aspires to keep delivering coherent and effective humanitarian aid. In doing so, Ms Street advised Member States to ensure that their humanitarian policies and practices are guided by the EU Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and that national humanitarian strategies and policies include reference to the Consensus on Humanitarian Aid.
‘So we ask that Member States work to ensure that humanitarian aid does not become a crisis management tool whereby the lines between military operations and humanitarian aid become blurred, - something which Article 15 of the Consensus clearly articulates, in noting “ EU humanitarian aid is not a crisis management tool,” said Anne Street in her remarks.
Ms. Street suggested Member States to establish mechanisms at national level for independent review of commitments under the EU Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, including assessment of adherence across relevant ministries. As for the Action Plan and its monitoring, Ms. Street suggested the rationalization of indicators and to prioritize those aspects that may have the biggest impact for crisis affected people.
During the debate, some Member States discussed the revision of the action plan of the Consensus and the new Action Plan and they suggested deepening and emphasizing the Division of Labour and complementarity among them and ECHO. Other Member States representatives welcomed Caritas recommendations on the reinforcement of a peer review mechanism that may enhance good practices among them.
To ensure Humanitarian Aid reaches needy people in complex emergencies, Caritas Europa is calling on the European Commission and EU member states, to take action on these fronts:
Caritas Europa also asserts that regular monitoring should be strengthened at all levels and, in support of this, calls for an evaluation with public disclosure of the results and impact of the EU Consensus that would include a broad consultation of different stakeholders.
Read the full Report here.
Read remarks from Anne Street here.
Above: Anne M Street and Jann Sjorsen present the Report (left), together with Einar Jensen, president at COHAFA meeting in the European Council.
For further information, contact:
Isabel Fernandez Sarabia
Policy and Advocacy Officer
See more pictures from the meeting here: