VOICE Members stress importance of Humanitarian Principles in meeting with EU member states
Caritas Europa was invited last Wednesday, April 13th, to the Working Party on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA) of the European Council as an expert organisation to present its report on Humanitarian Principles.
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 between Policy and Practice”. The report looks at the implementation by members states of the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, the core EU policy document on humanitarian aid.
In her presentation, Ms Street stressed, in keeping with VOICE key messages, that solid implementation of the Consensus by the 27 EU Member States is essential if the EU aspires to keep delivering coherent and effective humanitarian aid. Caritas recommended 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.
During the debate, some Member States discussed the revision of the current Action Plan of the Consensus (2008-2012) and the new Action Plan and they suggested deepening and emphasizing the division of labour and complementarity among them and DG ECHO, the humanitarian aid department of the European Commission. Several Member States’ representatives welcomed Caritas’ recommendations on the reinforcement of a peer review mechanism that may enhance good practices among them. Also the important role that NGOs have in advocacy for principled humanitarian policy and practice was raised several times.
Full CARITAS Report is available here.
European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid (2007), click here.