The Organisation undertakes to:
1. Respect applicable EU, international and national law (in particular the EU Humanitarian Aid Regulation 1257/96, Article 214 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and the national laws of the country of registration and the country where the assistance is implemented).
2. Respect the following fundamental humanitarian principles and, in situations of armed conflicts, international humanitarian law:
2.1. Humanity: focus on saving and preserving human lives and relieving suffering;
2.2. Impartiality: respond solely to identified needs of affected populations, without discrimination of any kind between or within these populations;
2.3. Neutrality: not favour any side in an armed conflict or other dispute; and
2.4. Independence: respect the autonomy of the humanitarian objectives from political, economic, military or other objectives and serve to ensure that the sole purpose of humanitarian aid remains to relieve and prevent the suffering of victims of humanitarian crises.
3. Take into account general EU policy principles such as policy coherence, complementarity, efficiency and effectiveness.
4. Comply with the following minimum standards for the preparation and implementation of humanitarian actions:
4.1. Propose activities based on a qualitative and impartial needs assessment;
4.2. Define clear and verifiable objectives, which can be achieved within the given time-frame and with results that can be measured through specific, achievable, relevant and time-bound indicators;
1 See Terms of Reference under ‘reference documents’ on DG ECHO’s partners website: https://www.dgecho-partners-helpdesk.eu/ngo/become-a-dg-echo-partner.
2 Currently Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid (OJ L 163, 2.7.1996, p. 1).
3 Joint Statement by the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission (OJ C 25, 30.1.2008, p. 1).
4.3. Implement the actions in accordance with EU policies and standards (both sector-specific
and cross-cutting) as well as visibility and communication guidelines;
4.4. Ensure that all humanitarian activities are results-oriented, are delivered in the most
effective, efficient and rapid manner, and comply with the principles of prioritising safety
and dignity, do no harm, access, accountability, and the empowerment and active
participation of affected persons in the design, implementation and evaluation of actions;
4.5. Respect ethical and humanitarian values and observe the highest ethical standards and best
practices in the sector and the specific operating environment;
4.6. Design the actions so that they are culturally appropriate and adapted to the specific needs
of different groups (such as women, girls, boys, men, older persons, persons with disabilities);
4.7. Take into account the situation of the affected persons within the circumstances and context
of the intervention, including assessments of the different needs, capacities, and roles that
might exist for men and women of different age groups within the given situation and cultural
4.8. Base actions on local capacities, respecting the culture, structure and customs of the
communities and of the countries where actions are carried out, without prejudice to the
fundamental rights of the persons affected;
4.9. Ensure ‘zero tolerance’ for sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment as well as any (other)
type of unethical behaviour such as discrimination, forced and child labour, modern slavery,
exploitative practices towards staff, partners, contractors or beneficiaries, illegal
employment and intentional environmental damage through effective and coordinated
prevention, reporting and response mechanisms (in line with relevant internationally agreed
principles and standards promoting effective and qualitative safeguarding policies, such as in
particular the United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Six Core Principles Relating
to sexual exploitation and abuse or equivalent standards);
4.10. Design actions that take into consideration humanitarian-development and peace nexus, in
order to help the affected populations regain a minimum level of self-sufficiency, whenever
possible taking long-term development objectives into account and building resilience;
4.11. Strengthen the capacities of affected communities, in order to prevent, prepare for, reduce
and respond to humanitarian crises;
4.12. Provide fair working conditions for humanitarian workers (volunteers or salaried), with
special attention to their safety in the field and, to the extent possible, to their professional
4.13. Reduce as much as possible the environmental and carbon footprint of the aid operations,
through in particular the greening of logistics and sectors like food assistance, shelter, water
and health, and by introducing environmental-friendly and climate-proof alternatives; and
4.14. Ensure effective coordination with other humanitarian actors to address gaps and to avoid
5. Ensure transparency and accountability, compliance with applicable rules, policies and
procedures, and internal control, through notably:
5.1. Procurement procedures, which ensure best value for money (or if appropriate the lowest
price) and the absence of conflict of interests, as well as compliance with high level quality
standards, in particular for medical supplies;
5.2. An effective and efficient internal control system for the management of actions (which
includes effective segregation of duties and appropriate risk management mechanisms,
identifying risks and appropriate risk responses);
5.3. An annual reporting to the Commission on the implementation of its policy related to sexual
exploitation, abuse, harassment and other types of unethical behaviour such as
discrimination, forced and child labour, modern slavery, exploitative practices towards staff,
partners, contractors or beneficiaries, illegal employment and intentional environmental damage in accordance with the applicable Commission guidance;
5.4. An accurate, complete and timely accounting system;
5.5. The availability of all relevant information and the timely submission of narrative and financial reports for a proper management of actions, as well as for a sufficiently detailed audit trail, including the provision of ad hoc information at any time upon request;
5.6. The facilitation of access to project sites and activities by EU representatives for needs assessment, evaluation, monitoring and control purposes.
The Organisation undertakes further for the purposes of implementation and monitoring of this Certificate:
6. Ensure compliance with the conditions for the Certificate for its entire duration and in particular inform the Commission when the rules and procedures assessed for the award of the Certificate change significantly, including when the information mentioned in Annex 4A and/or 4B of the ex-ante assessment independent report does no longer accurately reflect the relationship between the Organisation and its implementing partners.
7. Ensure the full implementation of the principles of the Certificate.
8. Ensure that the principles of the Certificate are well communicated and are applied by staff at all levels of the Organisation.
9. Commit to regular, comprehensive, and transparent exchange of information in order to ensure a maximum of coordination and enable the Commission to monitor compliance by the Organisation with the Certificate, including through the provision of timely and accurate information upon request from the Commission and the regular and timely submission of relevant financial information in accordance with the applicable Commission guidance.
10. Promote, through appropriate publicity, visibility and communication activities, the actions supported by EU Humanitarian Aid, along with their results, highlighting their relevance and impact, while duly respecting and protecting the safety and dignity of the final recipients of the assistance
11. Display this Certificate on the Organisation’s website.
The Organisation acknowledges that the implementation of the Certificate will be monitored by the Commission and that the violation of any of the above principles and commitments may lead to its temporary suspension and/ or withdrawal.