The European Union is the world’s largest donor of humanitarian aid.

For the European Commission, relief operations are coordinated by the Directorate General for Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection ECHO. We're 750 people working around the globe to provide assistance and relief to those in need. Aid is channelled impartially to the affected populations, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation, through our operational partners. The partners include over 200 Non-Government Organisations, United Nations agencies and the Red Cross family.
Since 1992, the European Commission has funded relief operations in well over 100 countries outside the European Union.

In order to respond better to disasters inside and outside the EU, ECHO is also in charge of coordinating EU civil protection.