Commission plan for humanitarian aid in EU countries welcome, but political solutions needed to overcome the migration crisis

Published: 2nd March 2016

Responding to EU plans today for a new humanitarian aid mechanism to support people on the move, Oxfam’s migration policy lead, Sara Tesorieri, said:

“The European Commission has made a welcome step with this new mechanism to fund humanitarian action inside the EU. Large numbers of people arriving in European Union countries like Greece and Italy are in desperate need of basic aid – including food, water, shelter and medical assistance – and the EU has a collective responsibility to deliver that.

“The EU now needs to find its promised EUR 700 million and this must come from outside the existing foreign aid budget. Helping people in need in Europe must not come at the expense of those living in crises and poverty overseas. The EU also needs to guarantee that humanitarian agencies are able to work to the same standards required by the Commission in all crises around the world – and this means remaining independent from governments.

“It is encouraging to see the EU stepping up to develop the new tools it needs to make sure that people’s humanitarian needs can be met. EU leaders meeting this month must now take steps to ensure that the rights of people on the move and their human dignity are respected. The current situation has exposed  gaps in the EU’s ability to respond to this crisis and the plight that people are in now is unacceptable. The EU needs to find a political solution now that respects people’s rights.”

Notes to editors

  • The European Commission’s announcement of today.
  • More on Oxfam's work in the current refugee crisis.
  • Several EU member states are using their national development budgets to cover the cost of refugee reception in Europe. More than 100,000 people have already joined Oxfam’s call on European leaders to meet the needs of refugees arriving at our borders without doing so at the expense of the world's poorest.

Contact information

Florian Oel,, t +32 2 234 11 15, m +32 473 56 22 60

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