EU Citizens Approve of Humanitarian Aid Funding, Survey Finds

A man unloads sacks of food aid from the European Union. The majority of European citizens approve of humanitarian aid outside the EU. Photo by: Patrick Vercammen / ECHO

The majority of European Union citizens support the provision of aid in response to humanitarian disasters outside of the bloc, according to a survey.

The study conducted by the European Commission measured EU citizens’ views on humanitarian aid work.

Eight out of 10, or 79 percent of respondents, approved of funding humanitarian aid outside the EU, the Special Eurobarometer 343 on Humanitarian Aid has shown.

This approval rating, however, is 9 percent lower than the 88 percent rating in 2006, when the survey was last conducted.

The survey, which was carried out in 27 EU member states and in Iceland, also showed strong support for channeling EU humanitarian aid through the European Commission, according to a news release. Of the more than 26,000 respondents, 58 percent said they think humanitarian aid is more efficient when coursed through the commission. Only 24 percent said they prefer aid to be channeled through member states.

Other key findings of the survey include:

- 86 percent of overall respondents said it is important to stay up-to-date with EU humanitarian aid operations but only 18 percent said they feel they are well informed about said aid activities.- 85 percent of respondents are aware of at least one organization providing humanitarian aid on the ground, while 72 percent were able to name at least one aid organization. The best known organizations among survey respondents were UNICEF and the Red Cross.

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.