Berlin: India will continue to be a focus of the European Community's humanitarian assistance in 2013, but five major global hotspots of crises, including Pakistan, will receive the largest chunk of over 661 million euros aid earmarked for this year, the European Commission has said.
Vulnerable populations subjected to "long-enduring crises" in India and eight other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America will receive a part of the funds allocated under the commission's humanitarian aid plan for 2013, which has been just adopted in Brussels.
For the victims of "forgotten crises", who receive little media attention, the EU is "often the only major donor", the commission said in a press statement.
Besides India, several communities in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Algeria, Yemen, Colombia and the Central African Republic will also receive the EU assistance.
"The only new crisis on this year's list is the one caused by conflict and internal displacement in Pakistan," the statement said.
Pakistan will receive a total of 42 million euros humanitarian assistance from the EU.
The crises in the five main regions of the EU's humanitarian aid operation arise from years of conflict, food shortages or both, the commission said.
It will finance the aid operations in the Sahel region, including its relief efforts in war-torn Mali, with an allocation of 82 million euros while 80 million euros has been earmarked to help ease the sufferings of the population caught up in the conflict in the Sudan and South Sudan.
The commission also allocated 54 million euros to cope with the emergency situation created by an escalation of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo while the EU's relief efforts in Somalia will be financed with an allocation of 40 million euros.
Geographically, Sub-Saharan Africa will receive the largest share of the EU humanitarian aid amounting to 344.5 million euros or 52 percent of the commission's overall commitments.
The funds will flow to its partner organisations in the recipient countries, which will implement the aid projects.
In addition to the funds allocated to cope with the most intractable humanitarian crises around the world, the commission will also keep reserve resources this year to respond to unforeseen crisis and other emergencies.
The EU's global humanitarian aid is allocated on the basis of an annual global need assessment, in which the commission evaluates the aid requirements of 140 developing countries in terms of their vulnerability and recent occurrence of a crisis.
In 2012, the commission identified 68 countries as experiencing at least one humanitarian crisis.
First Published: Monday, January 14, 2013, 11:26