Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, has called on Scottish charities and organisations to take advantage of a new package of EU funding for voluntary humanitarian aid work and produced a briefing guide to the new fund to help them do so.
A European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, an initiative which will see European citizens enrol to be called upon in times of crises across the world, has recently been established. The EU is now calling for proposals from relevant charities and organisations for pilot projects.
Scotland has many organisations represented by volunteers in the developing countries who could take advantage of this funding.
Mr Smith said:
“Last year I signed a European Parliament Written Declaration for the creation of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps and so I’m delighted things are starting to take shape. This call for proposals signals a fantastic opportunity for Scots organisations to gain financial help on current , relevant projects.”
The SNP MEP highlighted Scotland’s culture of compassionate volunteering and claimed the funding could help continue operations during current hard times.
Mr Smith added:
“The European Commission is one of the world’s most important providers of humanitarian aid and this is a significant step in enabling EU citizens to engage with the valuable work they already carry out.
“I hope the pilot project is successful, and leads to the establishment of a permanent scheme. This money is there for the taking and so I encourage Scots organisations to get their application forms in.”
The main points of the fund are:
• €2,450,000 in funding is available
• €675,000 maximum per project
• EU will fund 80%
• The funded projects must be about developing standards for volunteering in humanitarian aid and/or civil protection (further details in the brief)
• The focus should be international – things like disaster relief or capacity building
• NGOs, local authorities, public sector operators and others can apply. Must be non-profit-making
• Need to have a track record in deploying volunteers in third countries
• Have to operate with partners from other EU Member States