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The Commission’s European Community Humanitarian Office ECHO

The goal is to help people in distress as a result of conflict, natural disasters or other catastrophes, regardless of their nationality.


General objectives

The Commission’s European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) was created in 1992 as an expression of the European solidarity with people in need all around the world. In its 20 year existence it has provided €14 billion of humanitarian assistance to victims of conflict and disasters in 140 countries around the globe.

In 2004 ECHO became the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid before integrating Civil Protection in 2010 for a better coordination and disaster response inside and outside Europe. All of  ECHO funded projects share one common aim: to alleviate the suffering of the affected populations. The EU’s humanitarian assistance is based on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. Every decision ECHO takes must be in accordance with these four principles.

Civil Protection the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is made up of 32 states which co-operate in the field of civil protection to better protect people, their environment, property and cultural heritage in the event of major natural or man-made disasters occurring both inside and outside the EU. The assistance can take the form of in-kind assistance, equipment and teams, or involve sending experts to carry out assessments. It relies on government resources and, if assistance is required in third countries, usually works in parallel with or hands over to humanitarian aid. Cooperation during disasters that overwhelm national capacities is a strong expression of European solidarity. read more

Why is it important for Samaritan organizations?picture-1-md

Funds from DG ECHO are very important for all the Samaritan organizations because they support humanitarian aid in the all world. Humanitarian aid is aimed specifically at developing countries. The DG ECHO provides support even for civil protection´s projects in order to protect the affected population and to support prevention activities. Many of our member organizations are managing project funded by DG ECHO like for example SAMEST project (“Social Affair Management  in Emergency Temporay Shelter). The project aims to increasing the volunteers capability to work in a multicultural emergency environment and to improving the competencies of volunteers and professionals in an emergency context.

Application and consultation

The DG ECHO manages funds with three different instruments. Organizations can answer to a Calls for tender (when they are interested in offering services or products they participate in public procurement),  to a  call for proposals, (when the present a project on specific topic), or  Calls for expression of interest (when they show interest in taking part into specific activities or project).

Funding opportunities

You will find all the information on how to apply for funding and the conditions and procedures for the selection of beneficiaries on this page