VII. Humanitarian action

Emergency assistance

In terms of emergency aid, 2014 was marked by the simultaneous occurrence of four Level 3 humanitarian crises – the highest level of humanitarian crisis – the crises in Syria, Central Africa, South Sudan and Iraq. The humanitarian situation in the Philippines was reclassified in 2014 and is no longer a Level 3 crisis. As a result, the emergency funds from the humanitarian budget for 2014 were mainly allocated to the four crises and also to the complex, prolonged crisis in Mali, the conflict in the Gaza Strip and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The dramatic situation in Syria entered its fourth year in 2014 and represents, according to the United Nations, the most serious humanitarian crisis in the last twenty years. Since 15 January 2013, the Syrian crisis has been a Level 3 humanitarian emergency. Therefore, at the donors’ conference in Kuwait in January 2014, Luxembourg committed to contributing during 2014 a total of 5 million euros to people affected by the Syrian crisis in Syria and the neighbouring countries. At the end of October 2014, the Ministry was able to honour its commitment and, in December 2014, the pledge to donate 5 million euros was even exceeded, with a total of 5 467 181 euros contributed to the Syrian crisis relief effort. This contribution enabled various humanitarian partners to implement projects for the benefit of the population affected on Syrian soil as well as for the over 3 million Syrian refugees hosted by neighbouring countries (Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey).

As a result of the conflict which has been ravaging South Sudan since December 2013, in February 2014 the international humanitarian system raised the country’s humanitarian emergency level to Level 3. At the international high-level meeting on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan held in May in Oslo, Luxembourg pledged 2 500 000 euros to South Sudan for 2014. By the end of December 2014, this commitment had been exceeded, with a total contribution of 2 883 152 euros donated to the NGOs and UN agencies taking action in the fields of health, water, hygiene and sanitation, food aid, emergency shelter, telecommunications and protection services in various regions of South Sudan. 

On 13 August 2014, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq  declared a Level 3 Emergency for the entire country. Since June 2014, Luxembourg has allocated funding to the UN agencies and Luxembourg NGOs to implement emergency projects for food aid, non-food aid items, water, hygiene and sanitation and emergency shelter for displaced persons and vulnerable households in the conflict zones and the region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Thus, the total amount of contributions from Luxembourg in response to the Iraqi crisis amounts to 730 675 euros.

The Ministry also supported emergency aid projects run by NGOs and UN agencies in the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Colombia, Croatia, Italy (refugees), Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Laos, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Chad, Thailand, Ukraine and Yemen.