The actions of the HAO are linked to the principle of need; the geographical criterion applied in the field of development is not applicable to the allocation of Humanitarian Action resources.

Even so, current budgetary conditions in Spain have forced attention to be focused on a smaller number of humanitarian crises, always keeping in mind the needs of the most vulnerable populations, generating added value and identifying synergies between development projects and humanitarian projects.

The five areas of focus in terms of the volume of funds are:

  • The regional crisis in Syria and Iraq.
  • The Sahel and Lake Chad.
  • Sahrawi refugee camps.
  • The Palestinian Territories.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean (Colombia/Venezuela, disaster readiness and response, vulnerable people in transit in northern Central America).


In order to increase the effectiveness of AECID's humanitarian action, the Humanitarian Action Office has traditionally worked in four key sectors for action:

  • Food and nutrition security: food assistance (preferably through cash transfers or vouchers) and prevention and treatment of malnutrition, especially in breastfeeding women and under-fives.
  • Water and sanitation: focusing on emergency response (drinking water treatment, water supply) and prevention of risk vectors (treatment, rehabilitation, usage of water resources).
  • Health: healthcare in emergencies and particularly maternal and infant health.
  • Protection: focusing on protecting victims of humanitarian crises, and particularly refugees, displaced persons, minors, older people, people with disabilities, vulnerable women and other vulnerable groups, such as members of the LGTBI community, in certain contexts.

In addition, other sectors will continue to be reinforced, including disaster readiness and safe areas, and work will begin on education in emergencies.

Our humanitarian action has echoed the need for gender mainstreaming. In this regard, our action prioritizes funding of projects with IASC gender markers 2a and 2b or ECHO gender marker 2, i.e. projects that fully integrate the considerations of gender and age or which make significant contributions to gender equality. In addition, our humanitarian action supports the joint work and the funding of local women's organizations and associations.