In order to respond effectively and rapidly to emergencies caused by sudden natural disasters and conflicts, the European Commission has set up an emergency response mechanism, the ERM. This mechanism, funded by the European Commission Directorate–General for Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), aims to meet the increasing humanitarian and structural needs of populations.

The ERM was launched in Afghanistan in 2011. The implementation of the emergency response relies on a network of humanitarian organisations, which ensures a wide geographical coverage of the country. By providing these organisations with financial resources, ECHO ensures that humanitarian organizations can provide a rapid humanitarian response to the immediate needs of communities affected by conflict or natural disasters.

The first step of action of the ERM is to collect and share information on the disaster in the shortest amount of time possible. To reduce the impact of the disaster on families, the ERM carries out an assessment of their needs and then offers them an adapted response. Finally, the mechanism attempts to facilitate humanitarian access in the country that has become particularly dangerous. The ERM currently consists of eight international non-governmental organisations (NGOs): Action Against Hunger, Aid for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), People in Need (PIN), Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) and Solidarités International. All have long-lasting experience in Afghanistan and respect the charter of humanitarian principles -humanity, neutrality, impartiality, independence and transparency. The sectors covered by the ERM include: cash assistance; water, sanitation and hygiene assistance; disaster risk reduction; protection, shelter, food security and nutrition.




The European Commission Directorate–General for Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is an expression of the solidarity of European citizens with everyone in need in the world. Supported by the European Union (EU), ECHO aims to save and preserve lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering and safeguard the integrity and dignity of people affected by disasters, natural or manmade. European Union assistance, one of the largest in the world, is enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon.
Based in Brussels and with a global network of offices in the field, the European Commission Directorate–General for Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) ensures rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance through its two main instruments: humanitarian aid and civil protection. By bringing together the two under one roof in 2010, the Commission has built up a more robust and effective European mechanism for disaster response both inside and outside the EU.


Partner organisations

Action against Hunger

Created in 1979, Action Against Hunger is an international non-governmental organisation leading the global fight against hunger in the world. For almost 40 years, it has worked to the same charter of humanitarian principles – Independence, Neutrality, Non-Discrimination, Free and Direct Access to Victims, Professionalism and Transparency. Its mission is to save lives by eliminating hunger through the prevention, detection and treatment of undernutrition, especially during and after emergencies related to conflict and natural disasters. Originally set up to assist Afghan refugees crossing the Pakistani border, Action Against Hunger has continued to focus its response on providing emergency aid to internally displaced people (IDPs) and families affected by natural disasters and conflicts. Action Against Hunger works to develop long-term and viable interventions to strengthen the capabilities of the families, helping to prepare them for inevitable disasters that are likely to impact their lives and to also sustainably improve the nutritional status of their children.


Since 1993, as an international non-governmental organisation, ACTED has been committed to immediate humanitarian relief to support those in urgent need and protect people’s dignity, while co-creating longer term opportunities for sustainable growth and fulfilling people’s potential. ACTED endeavours to respond to humanitarian crises and build resilience; promote inclusive and sustainable growth; co-construct effective governance and support the building of civil society worldwide by investing in people and their potential. Independent, private and non-profit French NGO. ACTED (operating under the French law “Association Loi 1901”) respects a strict political and religious impartiality, and operates following principles of non-discrimination, transparency, according to its core values: responsibility, impact, enterprising-spirit and inspiration.


The Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees (DACAAR) is a non-political, non-governmental, non-profit professional humanitarian/development organisation working to improve the lives of the Afghan people since 1984. DACAAR works in rural areas and aims to improve rural livelihoods through sustainable activities that engage Afghan communities to be agents of their own development. DACAAR employs a holistic approach to all rural development activities in order to ensure long-term viability of projects.


The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a humanitarian, non-governmental, non-profit organisation founded in 1956 that works in more than 30 countries throughout the world. DRC fulfils its mandate by providing direct assistance to conflict affected populations – refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and host communities in the conflict areas of the world; and by advocating on behalf of conflict-affected populations internationally, and in Denmark, on the basis of humanitarian principles and the Human Rights Declaration.


The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is a humanitarian, non-governmental organisation which promotes and protects the rights of people affected by displacement. This includes refugees and internally displaced persons who are forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, human rights violations and acute violence, as well as climate change and natural disasters. NRC’s primary focus is the provision of humanitarian aid during the emergency stage of a conflict or natural disaster, when needs are often most acute. However, emergency relief alone cannot resolve the underlying factors, which have led to the displacement and humanitarian need. It can also create aid dependency. Therefore, NRC pursues a holistic, rights-based approach, which includes emergency relief and early recovery, and which seeks to promote resilience and sustainable solutions to displacement. NRC has operated in Afghanistan since 2003.


People In Need is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation based on the ideas of humanism, freedom, equality and solidarity. The People In Need Organization was established in 1992 by a group of war and foreign correspondents who were no longer satisfied with just bringing back information to the Czech Republic. Instead, they began sending out aid. It gradually became established as a professional humanitarian organisation striving to provide aid in troubled regions and support adherence to human rights around the world. The organisation is now celebrating the 15th anniversary of the first humanitarian aid it delivered to Afghanistan, which laid foundation to its longest-running development program. The Afghan team helped more than a million local people since the beginning of its activities. More than a thousand colleagues managed about one hundred projects worth 73 million Euros.


Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) is an international non-profit, non-political and secular, non-governmental organisation (NGO). Created through the merger of two French NGOs: Première Urgence and Aide Médicale Internationale. Première Urgence Internationale helps civilian victims, marginalised or excluded by the effects of natural disasters, wars and in situations of economic collapse. Their teams have been present in Afghanistan since 1979, carrying out various projects to improve medical services. It is now strengthening its integrated approach in Afghanistan and continues to develop activities in WASH and food security in its various areas of intervention.


For over 35 years, the humanitarian aid association SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has been present in the field in areas of conflict and natural disasters. Their mission is to provide the fastest and most effective assistance, providing food, drink and shelter to vulnerable people. Particularly committed to fighting against the diseases related to unsanitary water, the leading cause of death in the world, Solidarités International intervenes and provides assistance to vulnerable populations through the implementation of their fields of expertise including water assistance, sanitation, food security and reconstruction. The programs of Solidarités International are carried out by a team of 188 expatriate volunteers and nearly 1742 national employees. Present in Afghanistan since 1980, Solidarités International has recently increased the volume of its programs to meet the increasing needs of the population.