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01 Jan 2009 description

1. INTRODUCTION

The European Union's humanitarian aid policy reflects its founding principles - solidarity, tolerance and respect for human dignity. Humanitarian aid, while not a crisis management tool, is one of the pillars of Community action for countries affected by natural or man made disasters as well as by complex emergencies(1). Through its activities in disaster areas and through its active contribution to promoting respect for and adherence to International Humanitarian Law, the European Commission has asserted itself as a major player in international humanitarian aid.