Emergency Humanitarian Action


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Emergency humanitarian action aims to provide assistance and protection for vulnerable populations and meet the fundamental needs of those affected by a natural disaster or conflict such as access to water and sanitation, food, shelter and medical care.

It complements the assistance provided by the authorities of the country affected by a crisis and is part of a wider framework of assistance provided by the international community and, first and foremost, international organizations.

The Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS) is the lead for emergency humanitarian assistance at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. It is responsible for handling crises abroad, notably coordinating France’s emergency humanitarian responses and maintaining ties with other humanitarian actors. In liaison with humanitarian correspondents based in embassies, the CDCS carries out field visits in order to address various types of crisis as effectively as possible.

Through its Emergency Humanitarian Fund, the CDCS provides emergency assistance in cash or in kind. In this connection, it supports NGOs by financing their projects and maintaining a regular dialogue with them.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also has other financial instruments specialized in emergency assistance:

  • The Directorate-General for Globalisation rolls out food assistance a part of which is destined for the World Food Programme, while the rest passes through NGOs, the International Committee of the Red Cross or national initiatives,
  • The United Nations, International Organizations Directorate is responsible for France’s voluntary contributions to United Nations agencies working in humanitarian action as well as the Red Cross movement.

The CDCS actively participates in reviewing the French humanitarian policy notably on themes such as dialogue with multilateral institutions, financing and reforming humanitarian action, disaster risk reduction and coordination between civilian and military organizations for humanitarian action. It is helping to draw up France’s humanitarian strategy in collaboration with representatives from associations and government departments partners of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Updated: January 2024