Emergency Humanitarian Action


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European Humanitarian Forum (Brussels, 21-23 Mar. 2022)

The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission are co-organizing a three-day conference to discuss the main humanitarian challenges and means of responding to them.
Organization of the very first European Humanitarian Forum
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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 French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ main tool for providing emergency humanitarian assistance. The Centre is reponsible for managing crises taking place abroad and from its base in Paris it monitors and analyses humanitarian issues by major geographic area (Africa, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, Europe, the Americas), and coordinates France’s national response for emergency humanitarian assistance operations, ensure relations with other humanitarian players and carries out missions on the ground. Humanitarian correspondents located in embassies help to support its work.

Through its Emergency Humanitarian Fund (in French), 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.

Read France’s 2018 - 2022 humanitarian strategy

Updated: March 2018