Special Eurobarometer: Europeans show their clear support for humanitarian aid

© UNHCR/Aristophane Ngargoune, 2020.

1. Funding EU humanitarian aid activities is important to EU citizens

An overwhelming majority (91%) of Europeans believe that it is important that the EU funds humanitarian aid activities globally. This is an increase of 3 percentage points since 2016 and the largest ever observed (+21pp compared to 2010).

2. Humanitarian aid activities make EU citizens feel proud

The European Union, together with its Member States, is the largest donor of humanitarian aid in the world. The EU funds about 36% of global humanitarian assistance. A large majority (82%) of the survey respondents have positive feelings towards EU’s leading role in financing humanitarian aid, of which 55% feel satisfaction, 17% pride, and 10% enthusiasm.

3. EU humanitarian aid is more efficient if coordinated by the EU as a whole

About 74% of EU citizens believe that the EU should act as one when coordinating and providing humanitarian aid, whereas 22% of respondents think aid is more efficient if member countries act separately.

4. The EU should keep or increase the level of spending on humanitarian aid

Almost half of respondents (48%) think that the EU should keep the current level of spending, whereas 41% think that the budget should be increased. Less than 1 in 10 citizens responded that the EU should invest less. The EU has recently adopted its annual humanitarian aid budget of €1.4 billion for 2021, an increase of more than 60% compared to last year.

5. Full support for EU humanitarian operations outside the EU in the fight against coronavirus

The European Union has funded various initiatives to support countries all over the world in the battle against COVID-19. For instance, the European Commission put in place the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge, a set of services enabling the delivery of medical equipment, humanitarian cargo and staff. Europeans fully support these initiatives: 9 in 10 respondents either “totally support” or “tend to support” solidarity with countries outside the EU during the pandemic.

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