EU Aid Volunteers

EU Aid Volunteers

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative provides opportunities to European citizens and long-term residents, from a wide range of backgrounds and with a diversity of skills and professional experience, to get involved in humanitarian aid projects, support the provision of needs-based humanitarian aid in third countries and engage in volunteering opportunities, through deployment and online-volunteering.

The initiative focuses on strengthening the European Union's capacity to deliver needs-based humanitarian aid by providing professional support through the deployment of trained volunteers to people in need. Furthermore, it aims to strengthen the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities in third countries, through the implementation of joint projects between experienced humanitarian operators and local organisations in third countries.

By the end of 2017, 206 trained volunteers were deployed to 28 countries. Other activities, such as the training of the next groups of candidate volunteers, various communication and outreach activities and the further development of the EU Aid Volunteers Platform, took also place in 2017. 145 sending and hosting organisations have been certified and new projects for deployment of volunteers and technical assistance and capacity building for organisations have been selected. 

In 2018, these activities will continue to give opportunities for more hosting and sending organisations to benefit from capacity building and technical assistance projects and more EU Aid Volunteers to be deployed in countries outside the EU. The certification of sending and hosting organisations will continue on a rolling basis as well as the maintenance of the EU Aid Volunteers Platform. The communication activities will continue on a rolling basis to promote the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.



The 2018 objectives of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative are:

  • To contribute to resilience building and disaster risk management in vulnerable,  fragile or disaster affected countries and forgotten crises, including actions in the following stages of the disaster management cycle: disaster prevention, preparedness, disaster risk reduction and recovery from natural and man-made disasters, early warning;
  • To improve the synergy with the disaster preparedness projects funded by the Commission;
  • To prepare the selection, training and deployment of 250 EU Aid Volunteers in vulnerable and disaster-affected communities in third countries; 
  • To continue capacity building and technical assistance for hosting and sending organisations, including in tools and methods for disaster prevention including adaptation to the impacts of climate change, and of early warning for disasters; 
  • To implement the training programme and training of candidate volunteers; 
  • To continue certification of sending and hosting organisations
  • To maintain and further develop the EU Aid Volunteers Platform for registration, networking, online volunteering and learning. 
  • To continue to support insurance service provision for EU Aid Volunteers, apprentice EU Aid Volunteers, and participants in capacity building activities taking place in the European Union, funded under the Work Programme for 2014; 
  • To continue the outreach activities and the promotion of the EU Aid Volunteers.


How to apply?


Are you intending to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative?

Follow these steps:

  1. Become a certified sending or hosting organisation All organisations wishing to send or host volunteers under the EUAV initiative must be certified under the initiative. The certification process verifies that the high standards and procedures of volunteer management set to protect and manage volunteers during their deployment under the EUAV initiative can be fully realised and met by all participating organisations. For further details on the application process for certification, including the announcement of the call and guidelines on completing the application form plus annexes can be found under Certification Mechanism.
  2. Build a consortium of European and third country organisations Transnational partnerships are at the core of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, valued as a means of transferring knowledge, sharing best practice and increasing expertise. The EUAV initiative is open to consortia of European and third country organisations.
  3. Submit a project proposal for deployment of EUAVs Certified sending and hosting organisations can apply for funding to deploy volunteers to humanitarian contexts, in support of disaster risk reduction/preparedness activities and emergency response. The call for proposals for deployment 2018 was published on the 1st of February 2018.

    Nota Bene: A project proposal is to be submitted by a consortium of organisations!

  4. Not certified yet? Submit, or be part of, a project proposal for technical assistance for sending organisations and capacity building for hosting organisations. Funding is available to support organisations in their preparation for certification, in view of future participation in the EUAV initiative. The call for proposals for technical assistance for sending organisations and capacity building for hosting organisations 2018 is going to be published in the 1st quarter of 2018. Learn more here.

    Nota Bene: A project proposal is to be submitted by a consortium of organisations!


Would you like to become an EU Aid Volunteer?

Volunteering through the EU Aid Volunteers initiative offers the possibility to EU citizens and long-term residents living in Europe to volunteer in countries affected by humanitarian crises. Volunteer placements are based on assessments of humanitarian needs on the ground, so that volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and with different levels of expertise can take part.

There will also be on-line volunteer opportunities, open to citizens of all nationalities, which will offer additional ways to participate

The first EU Aid Volunteer vacancies were published on the EU Aid Volunteers Platform

How is it managed?

EACEA is in charge of the complete life-cycle management of the strands/actions mentioned above. This consists of the implementation of the programme including the call for proposals, analysis of the grant requests, on-the-spot monitoring of projects, and the dissemination of the projects' and programme's results. More about EACEA.

EACEA works in partnership with the European Commission, DG ECHO.

DG ECHO has guided the design and development of the programme in close consultation with EU member states and key humanitarian stakeholders. DG ECHO holds responsibility for the development of the legal framework at the base of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and maintains key oversight for policy, financial and operational elements of the initiative.

For more information about the EU Aid Volunteer initiative or to learn more about volunteer opportunities offered under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, please visit DG ECHO official website

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