Helping the world's most vulnerable populations in crisis is a moral imperative for the international community and can make the difference between life and death. The European Union (EU), including its 27 Member States, is the world's leading humanitarian donor, providing about half of global funding for emergency relief to victims of man-made and natural disasters. The EU also promotes respect for, and adherence to, international humanitarian law. This annual report focuses on the European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection activities in 2011. The aim of these actions is... saving and protecting life wherever people are in need of relief and preventing and alleviating human suffering while preserving the integrity and dignity of populations affected by natural or man-made disasters.