|A dried cob of corn lies in a bowl on the ground, in the village of Tamidou, Burkina Faso. The kernels are being used to plant new maize crops. The region is participating in a UNICEF/EU-supported nutrition security programme.|
By Chris Niles
NEW YORK, United States of America, 11 September 2012 - European Commissioner for International Co-operation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva will launch the revamped Web portal dedicated to the partnership between UNICEF and the European Union (EU) at the second regular session of the UNICEF Executive Board today.
It’s the first time that a European Commissioner has addressed the UNICEF Executive Board.
The EU is the world's biggest donor of humanitarian aid. It provides more than half of all funds.
There is widespread support among EU citizens for the EU’s humanitarian programmes. A recent Eurobarometer survey shows that nine out of ten EU citizens believe that the aid that the EU provides on their behalf is an important part of its spending.
The portal is part of the EU’s commitment to showing taxpayers how their money is being spent.
“If you tell the story about how you save lives, people will buy in,” said Director-General of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) Claus Sorensen.
ECHO, of which Ms. Georgieva was appointed the first dedicated Commissioner in 2010, is responsible for emergency response.
|A woman carries a bundle of harvested crops while balancing a jerrycan on her head, in Tamidou, Burkina Faso.|
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid is headed by Development Commissioner for the European Commission Andris Piebalgs. It coordinates the longer-term response.
Portal features diverse media
The UNICEF–EU portal was launched in 2010, at which time it focused exclusively on ECHO programmes. It has since been expanding continuously. The enhanced portal presents both emergency response and longer-term development programmes that aim to build sustainability and resilience.
The portal features short films and photo essays that demonstrate how the UNICEF–EU partnership is working in countries such as Burkina Faso, where a broad-based programme is helping families to improve their diets by growing, selling and consuming a wider variety of crops. It includes interviews with EU and UNICEF experts, who discuss such important topical issues as the ongoing crisis in the Sahel and work in fragile states such as Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen.
The portal is regularly updated with the latest news and press releases and provides both a platform to highlight the partnership and a place where EU citizens and beneficiaries of the programmes can see how the partnership builds resilience wherever in the world it works.