The EU Aid Volunteers initiative provides opportunities for volunteers to engage in humanitarian aid. In the period from 2016 to 2020, 4 000 individuals will be deployed by humanitarian organisations to support projects worldwide. A further 10 000 opportunities will be available for online volunteers to provide support.
The initiative is open to a variety of profiles, from newcomers to experienced humanitarian experts. Opportunities will also be provided for staff and volunteers from local organisations and local communities to strengthen their capacities to deal with disasters.
Strengthening the humanitarian system and the capacity of humanitarian organisations and local responders to be more effective and principled in the delivery of humanitarian assistance is also supported under the initiative, with dedicated funding to support technical assistance and capacity building for sending and hosting organisations.
In 2015, 59 local humanitarian organisations and 21 international humanitarian organisations were supported by the EU to strengthen their management and operational systems, and to work in partnership to implement best practices in humanitarian aid delivery and volunteer management.
European standards on the management of volunteers by humanitarian organisations have been developed in the context of this initiative. A European training programme for volunteers will ensure volunteers are well-trained and prepared before deployment.
The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is an innovative instrument to complement the delivery of humanitarian aid, strengthen resilience and build capacities of local communities. The initiative corresponds to the EU's commitment to address the challenges of disaster risk reduction and aligns itself closely to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the objectives of the World Humanitarian Summit.