PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Minister George W. Vella presents the Maltese Presidency Priorities on Humanitarian Aid at the European Parliament

During the hearing with the European Parliament’s Committee on Development (DEVE) on 25 January 2017, Minister for Foreign Affairs George W. Vella, presented the priorities of the Maltese Presidency on Humanitarian Aid.

This is one of the presentations of the Maltese Ministers to the European Parliamentary Committees at a Union level.

During an exchange of views with Members of the European Parliament, Minister Vella highlighted that the Maltese Presidency will continue to closely monitor humanitarian crises to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the EU and Member States’ humanitarian aid. A proper follow�up on the World Humanitarian Summit will be another important objective for the Maltese Presidency. The Presidency will also continue to provide support for the monitoring and implementation of the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid.

Particular attention will also be given to the nexus between humanitarian and development policies. In the context of the Valletta Action Plan, the Minister explained that the Maltese Presidency will explore links with the humanitarian needs of migrants taking into account the fact that protracted conflict calls for the need to consider simultaneous development assistance. Moreover, the Presidency will seek to ensure that the protection of populations remains a core objective of humanitarian action by raising awareness both within and beyond the framework of international law.

Several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) raised issues regarding the EU’s role in the field of humanitarian aid, the importance of a monitoring mechanism to the World Humanitarian Summit and the protection of women and children in conflict. MEPs also congratulated Malta on its handling of the refugee issue in the Mediterranean while also referring to the Balkan migratory route and the inhumane conditions with the onset of winter. MEPs also highlighted the need to work with host countries to improve the lives of refugees. The lack of funding for humanitarian aid was also raised as an issue of concern, highlighting the urgent need that countries honour their commitments. MEPs praised Malta’s Presidency programme which demonstrates a strong commitment towards the African continent, afflicted by the predicament of, inter alia, forced displacement.

Source: Government of Malta