Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Carol Thompson O’Connell and U.S. Agency for International Development Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Trey Hicks represented the United States Government in the virtual annual U.S. – EU Strategic Dialogue on Humanitarian Affairs from November 9-10. The dialogue was hosted by the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO), represented by Director General Paraskevi Michou and Deputy Director General Michael Koehler. The United States and the European Union are the two top donors to humanitarian crisis response globally, and our close cooperation is essential to alleviating the suffering of vulnerable people affected by emergency situations around the world, whose needs have been exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Strategic Dialogue on Humanitarian Affairs is an opportunity to explore common approaches to address key global humanitarian emergencies, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on existing and protracted crises, coordination on response to humanitarian situations around the world, and common approaches to resolving operational challenges in crisis response. The United States and the EU have a mutual strategic interest in encouraging greater burden-sharing in addressing humanitarian needs, coordinating efforts to help people displaced by manmade and natural disasters, increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the humanitarian system, and sharing knowledge to inform Americans and Europeans about the state of humanitarian affairs globally.