Today the European Parliament backed the creation of the new EU Aid Volunteers initiative. It will provide a way for people willing to help communities around the world struck by disasters. Around 4,000 volunteers from across Europe will be deployed at various periods throughout the course of the scheme until 2020.
The new programme will be open to people from all ages and walks of life who have the relevant skills and knowledge needed to assist during a humanitarian crisis. Deployed volunteers will receive training and will be provided with all relevant resources needed during the mission. It is envisaged that volunteers will be brought together with international organisations to work together on common projects.
Bill Newton Dunn, Liberal Democrat MEP for the East Midlands said:
“Every year I am struck by the number of people who are willing to dedicate so much time and energy into helping others overseas, so I believe it’s only right that we have proper structures in place to make applying to volunteer as easy as possible.”
“We live in a world where sadly natural disasters are becoming ever more common so Europe must be able to provide humanitarian organisations with people who are skilled and willing to help.”
“It is only the Liberal Democrats who are making the case for Europe as the party of “in” and we believe opportunities, such as this scheme, highlight the opportunities Britons receive through being in Europe.”