Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Summaries of EU Legislation

Linking relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD)

Go to the summaries’ table of contents

SURVEY: Tell us what you think about the summaries!

Linking relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD)


Commission Communication COM(2001) 153 final: the approach of Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development



Emergency relief operations deal with immediate needs, but should also find ways to boost resilience to future crises by providing longer-term development benefits and strengthening risk management. This approach is called Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD).

In discussing the challenges to be addressed by the international community in post-crisis situations, the Communication identifies measures to improve the EU's contribution, and aims to link immediate assistance effectively with longer term development policies.


The Communication refers to 3 categories of crisis.

  • Natural disasters, such as famine, floods and earthquakes. Immediate aid is necessary, but disaster preparedness, such as early warning systems for famines and planting to prevent flooding, represent a more difficult challenge.
  • Violent conflicts. These can be especially challenging because of conflicting interests between the parties, or long-term instabilities. The EU needs to work in a broad context, since aid risks bringing negative consequences such as corruption, or prolongation of the conflict.
  • Structural and other types of crises. This includes countries suffering from declining political, economic or social conditions, such as Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, where relief could have a distorting effect by creating dependency or fuelling tensions. Development aid can help by improving institutional structures and removing barriers to production and trade.

To respond more effectively to post-crisis situations, the following approach is proposed:

  • The European Commission is to adopt an early co-ordination and collaboration role, reinforcing the link between humanitarian assistance and development.
  • In countries prone to natural disasters, increased attention should be paid to disaster preparedness and prevention both in humanitarian assistance and development cooperation strategies.
  • Post crisis or disaster recovery and rehabilitation strategies should attempt to address the causes of vulnerability, and incorporate disaster risk reduction and preparedness - sometimes referred to as ‘build back better’.
  • In conflict situations, the link between relief and development must be seen in a broader economic, social and political context.
  • Emergency assistance must be consistent with long term development objectives.
  • Account must be taken of long term partnerships such as the Cotonou Agreement between developing countries and the EU.
  • International initiatives must be better co-ordinated, including by strengthening the ‘Friends of’* approach.
  • The Commission should reduce delays and mobilise adequate resources quickly, ensuring the involvement of appropriate partners, a leaner decision-making process within the EU, and accepting a higher degree of technical risk.
  • Work programmes should be drawn up in response to crisis situations, covering the actions and measures required, and eliminating the need for individual project approval.
  • Tendering procedures and contracts should be more flexible in relation to rehabilitation, aid to refugees, food aid and food security, and landmines.
  • New regulations could be better organised to cover rehabilitation, aid to refugees and landmine issues.
  • There should be wide-ranging discussion on the ideas put forward with a view to further enhancing the EU's ability to positively influence outcomes.

Some of the discussion in this communication is resumed and further developed in the Commission's 2012 communication on the EU Approach to Resilience: Learning from food security crises.


Resilience and Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development


* The ‘Friends of’ approach: a United Nations strategy aimed at involving the largest possible number of international donors co-ordinating their actions in a particular country.


Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development – An assessment (COM(2001) 153 final of 23.4.2001)


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - The EU Approach to Resilience: Learning from food security crises (COM(2012) 586 final of 3.10.2012)

last update 26.11.2015