Financing Decisions

ECHO's mandate, as defined in the Humanitarian Aid Regulation, is implemented through Financing Decisions that are adopted by the European Commission.
The Commission decides to make credits available for humanitarian purposes, as ECHO needs financing decisions before it can actually start funding Actions in the field. These financing decisions are the strategic framework for ECHO humanitarian intervention in a given crisis.

The Financing Decisions are the “legal basis” for the funding of each individual Action: this means that no Agreement may be concluded without the prior adoption of a Financing Decision.

The Financing Decisions are elaborated on the basis of the operational strategy, issued annually by ECHO. This document draws up the strategic objectives, the operation and the policy priorities, for the delivery of humanitarian aid.


There are different types of Financing Decisions, which are defined according to:

- The degree of urgency of the humanitarian response

- The nature of the humanitarian crisis

- The amount of the financing Decision

- The duration of the humanitarian Actions to be implemented under the Financing Decision.

Each Decision constitutes ECHO’s intervention plan as concerns: the regions involved, the needs to be addressed, the objectives to be reached, the period of eligibility of expenditures and the period of implementation of the actions financed and the allocated budgeted.

For UN Agencies it is important to understand the financing decision process

  • to be able to provide inputs into the financing decisions (e.g. inputs in the drafting of the Worldwide decision/HIPs)
  • to understand the limitation of ECHO funding (e.g. which actions can be funded)
  • to have a clearer idea about the applicable rules and procedures (e.g. single bid for emergency decisions, or specific eligibility dates)


Summary table

Decision TypeDuration of ActionsSingle Form to be used Date submission proposalExtension possible
Primary Emergency3 months maximumSimplifiedIn the first days of the crisisNO
Emergency6 months maximumSimplifiedAs soon as possible after the crisisNO
Urgent Action in HIP6 months maximumSimplifiedAs soon as possible after the crisisNO
Non Emergency Decision (Worldwide or ad-hoc)Defined in the decision and where relevant in the HIPNon-emergency or complementaryFor Worldwide decision, date specified in the HIPYES



References & useful links