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News

15 June 2018, 17:45

First Vice-Speaker meets ECHO’s director of operations

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

There was discussed coordination of the Parliament, the Government and the EU’s efforts to solve humanitarian problems in the Donbas during a meeting of Iryna Herashchenko with the Director of Operations in the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) Jean-Louis De Brouwer

On June 15, the Presidential envoy for peaceful settlement of the Donetsk-Luhansk clash Iryna Herashchenko met Jean-Louis De Brouwer, the Director of Operations in the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), Cristina Martinez-Gallego, Desk Ukraine, ECHO/B.4., and Samuel Marie-Fanon, ECHO Ukraine office’s head.

During the meeting, the sides discussed the current security, humanitarian and ecological situation in the Donbas, and coordinated cooperation in solving urgent problems in eastern Ukraine. 

Also, the meeting participants touched upon humanitarian demining, repair of water- and gas supply facilities of critical infrastructure.

In turn, Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Director of Operations in the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), said that the organization plans to continue providing support to Ukraine and citizens most affected by the conflict through the implementation of important humanitarian projects.

The sides have agreed to pursue consolidation of the efforts of the Parliament, the Government, and the European Union.

"The European Commission is prepared for a more active cooperation in solving humanitarian problems in the Donbas, and does hope for more energetic moves from the side of the Government of Ukraine," said Iryna Herashchenko, summarizing the results of the meeting.

 

Worthy of note

ECHO: Who we are?

Whenever there is a disaster or humanitarian emergency, the EU provides assistance for the affected countries and populations.

In line with the four principles grounded in International Humanitarian Law, EU humanitarian aid:

  • addresses human suffering, with particular attention to the most vulnerable groups of people, while respecting the dignity of all victims (humanity);
  • does not favour any side in a conflict (neutrality);
  • is provided solely on the basis of needs, without any kind of discrimination (impartiality);
  • is independent of any agenda, be it political, economic, military or else (independence).

EU humanitarian action also embodies the principle of solidarity, as laid down in the Lisbon Treaty, which states that the EU will provide assistance, relief and protection for victims of natural and man-made disasters and encourage cooperation between Member States to this aim (Lisbon Treaty, articles 196 and 214).

Civil protection and humanitarian aid are complementary. In the case of humanitarian aid, the European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department shares competence with EU Member States and together they are one of the leading global humanitarian donors. When it comes to civil protection, the EU assumes a supporting role, coordinating voluntary contributions of in-kind assistance from countries participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

The EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department has been providing assistance to people in need since 1992. Its annual humanitarian budget is just over €1 billion, it helps over 120 million people each year.

Jean-Louis De Brouwer

Director For Director - Europe Neighbourhood Middle East European Commission (DG ECHO) Belgium

Jean-Louis De Brouwer, a Belgian, is Director of Operations in the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO). He joined ECHO in November 2012, having previously been Director in charge of the coordination of employment politics in the Commission's department for Employment and Social Affairs. Prior to that, he spent 18 years in the Justice and Home Affairs department, specializing in migration and asylum questions, latterly as Director in charge of border and visa issues.

Before joining the European Commission, Mr De Brouwer worked in the Belgian civil service (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs). Mr De Brouwer has Masters Degrees in Law and Sociology from the Catholic University in Louvain, where he also did his undergraduate degree in Political Sciences. He is a lecturer in International Relations and EU Affairs at the same university.