On September 23, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations Program hosted a conversation with Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. The Commissioner discussed the EU’s role in disaster response and the current challenges faced by her office. As Commissioner, she has overseen the EU response to humanitarian crises such as the earthquake in Haiti, the earthquake in Chile, and floods in Pakistan. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, she held the position of vice president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group.
Commissioner Georgieva focused on the major hotspots of humanitarian crisis where the EU is currently active — Yemen, Libya, North Korea, the Horn of Africa, and South Sudan. She stressed that the independence of the EU’s humanitarian efforts from its foreign policy operations made it possible for the EU to aid people in dire circumstances in North Korea, Yemen, and other difficult areas, and she discussed the arrival of new donors — including Turkey, China, Brazil, and others – and their impact on global humanitarian assistance. Above all she stressed that the US and EU must work together with imagination in these times of austerity to ensure that humanitarian assistance efforts have the greatest possible impact.
Welcome and Introduction
Ambassador Robert Gelbard
Gelbard International Consulting
EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva
Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
President and CEO