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European Commission




Credit: ©2019 European Union__Peter Biro

Partners implementing Humanitarian Aid actions funded by the European Union should ensure the respect of several rules and principles.

In terms of rules, Partners must respect the applicable EU, international and national law (in particular the EU Humanitarian Aid Regulation 1257/96, Article 214 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and the national laws of the country of registration and the country where the assistance is implemented). 


During implementation, the fundamental humanitarian principles (complemented, in situations of armed conflict, by international humanitarian law) of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence must be accomplished.



The following minimum standards for the implementation of humanitarian actions must also be granted:


  • Implement the actions in accordance with EU policies and standards (both sector-specific and cross-cutting) as well as visibility and communication guidelines; 
  • Ensure that all humanitarian activities are results-oriented, are delivered in the most effective, efficient and rapid manner, and comply with the principles of prioritising safety and dignity, do no harm, access, accountability, and the empowerment and active participation of affected persons in the design, implementation and evaluation of actions; 
  • Respect ethical and humanitarian values and observe the highest ethical standards and best practices in the sector and the specific operating environment; 
  • Design the actions so that they are culturally appropriate and adapted to the specific needs of different groups (such as women, girls, boys, men, older persons, persons with disabilities); 
  • Base actions on local capacities, respecting the culture, structure and customs of the communities and of the countries where actions are carried out, without prejudice to the fundamental rights of the persons affected; 
  • Ensure ‘zero tolerance’ for sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment as well as any (other) type of unethical behaviour such as discrimination, forced and child labour, modern slavery, exploitative practices towards staff, partners, contractors or beneficiaries, illegal employment and intentional environmental damage through effective and coordinated prevention, reporting and response mechanisms; 
  • Design Actions that take into consideration humanitarian-development and peace NEXUS
  • Strengthen the capacities of affected communities, in order to prevent, prepare for, reduce and respond to humanitarian crises; 
  • Provide fair working conditions for humanitarian workers (volunteers or salaried), with special attention to their safety in the field and, to the extent possible, to their professional development; 
  • Reduce as much as possible the environmental and carbon footprint of the aid operations;
  • Ensure effective coordination with other humanitarian actors to address gaps and to avoid overlaps.


Partners must also ensure transparency and accountability, compliance with applicable rules, policies and procedures, and internal control, through notably: 


  • Procurement procedures, which ensure best value for money (or if appropriate the lowest price) and the absence of conflict of interests, as well as compliance with high level quality standards, in particular for medical supplies; 
  • An effective and efficient internal control system for the management of Actions; 
  • The availability of all relevant information and the timely submission of narrative and financial reports; 
  • The facilitation of access to project sites and activities by EU representatives for needs assessment, evaluation, monitoring and control purposes. 


EU Humanitarian Partnership Certificate, Articles 4 and 5


Annex 5 to the Model Grant Agreement, Article 18


Provisional Annotated Annex 5 (DG ECHO)


4. Quality standards for medical and food supplies


Communication and Visibility Manual