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Relying on the tradition of humanitarian awareness in general public, humanitarian actors, including Slovenian Red Cross Society, Caritas, and Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, are predominantly nationally oriented, while internationally humanitarian action is linked to development cooperation.

Education, psychosocial support, protection
Children, women, refugees
1.015.000 EUR for regular humanitarian and post-conflict assistance programmes for 2013–2015 period (415.000 EUR in 2013, 330.000 EUR in 2014 and 270.000 EUR in 2015).

Scope of involvement


Republic of Slovenia provides humanitarian aid in line with the objectives, defined in the Resolution on International Development Cooperation for the period until 2015. The main priority areas are: reduction of poverty and hunger, mine action and assistance to children in post-conflict situations. According to the resolution, Slovenia commits around 10 % of its development assistance to humanitarian and post-conflict aid programmes. A very small part is channelled through NGOs.


Western Balkans (mine action and assistance to children in post-conflict situations), Middle East, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe (health and psychosocial rehabilitation of children in post-conflict contexts), Africa (mostly in reducing hunger among children in protracted crises).


Recently food aid has become the greatest concern of main Slovenian humanitarian actors - Red Cross and Caritas. They help Civil Protection in disaster management and emergency situations. Slovenian is relying on voluntary-based and self-sufficient blood donations system (Red Cross).

Turning point

While the independence of Slovenia in 1991 together with the crisis in the former Yugoslavia in 1992 were responsible for the establishment of an independent Slovenian humanitarian system, we are still waiting for a turning point (in terms of – mainly human – resources) for its greater international involvement.


Types of stakeholders

National Red Cross Society

The Slovenian Red Cross is by recognition and positive reputation among the general public the leading humanitarian organisation in Slovenia. It is composed of 56 local branches and covers a network of over 800 local organizations run by committed volunteers. On the basis of the Red Cross Act (1993), its public mandate is carried out in the fields of tracing services, first aid, blood donations, and disaster preparedness and disaster response.

Armed Forces

At the national level, Slovenian armed forces regularly participate in disaster-relief operations. In addition, Slovenian contingents and individual officers frequently take part in international missions providing operational support for the provision of humanitarian assistance. Since 1997, when the Slovenian armed forces participated in their first crisis response operation in Albania, they have been active in numerous CIMIC humanitarian operations in Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Chad and other countries.

State humanitarianism

Ministries involved

The main coordinator of international humanitarian assistance is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. Its Department for International Development Cooperation Implementation and Humanitarian Assistance coordinates all forms of bilateral humanitarian assistance between the involved government actors (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture). In addition, it is also responsible for the planning of humanitarian assistance in prolonged crises and post-conflict situations; for the cooperation with relevant EU and UN agencies and working groups; and for the preparation and implementation of public tenders in the field of international humanitarian assistance. At the national level, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health play the key role in conferring an official humanitarian legal status upon individual non-governmental organisations.

Legal framework

The International Development Cooperation Act (2006) regulates the provision of Slovenia’s international humanitarian assistance. The act is further operationalized in periodical Framework Programs of International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance (current period 2013-2015), which specify individual humanitarian actors, activities, beneficiaries, and appropriated amounts of assistance. Framework programs distinguish between regular humanitarian assistance, post-conflict assistance, and assistance in emergency situations. The Humanitarian Organisations Act (2003) is the main legal framework regulating the conduct of humanitarian organisations at the national level. It sets stringent substantive conditions for the acquisition humanitarian organisation status with the fundamental purpose of providing high-quality humanitarian social care.

Principles and accountability

Slovenia’s own experiences have highlighted that tied humanitarian aid in-kind, particularly when shipped to far-off locations, is costly and less effective and efficient than providing funds through established systems for supporting emergency responses. According to OECD's DAC report (2012) its humanitarian aid has been provided in ways not aligned with Good Humanitarian Donorship Initiative (officially Slovenia suports it).

Specific roles of international organisations

European Commission

The Foreign Ministry monitors multilateral activities in the field of humanitarian aid and takes part in EU working bodies. It monitors the Working Party on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid (COHAFA) and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Committee (HAC).

United Nations

The great majority of humanitarina funds are channelled through multilateral cooperation within UN (WFP, UNRWA, UNICEF, UNHCR, etc.) and EU systems or directly to international humanitarian organisations such as ICRC and IFRC.

Specific focus

Civil Protection

Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief (ACPDR) is the major actor for the disaster management system in Slovenia. It operates within the Ministry of Defence. In case of major disasters also operates in neighbouring countries, in the regional and international initiatives. This cooperation is based on bi-lateral agreements or multilateral cooperation with organisations such as EU, United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), NATO and numerous regional initiatives.


Humanitarian Education

Higher education

While Slovenian universities do not offer a unified degree programme (either undergraduate or postgraduate) in humanitarian action, several faculties at the University of Ljubljana provide relevant individual courses. A broad classification of the latter includes a) courses on international humanitarian law and policy; b) courses on the management of organizations dealing with humanitarian action; c) courses on social work and policy; and d) a course in methods of public health management.

In-house training

The most active providers of in-house trainings on humanitarian assistance are the National Red Cross Society and the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief. Together, they offer over 100 mandatory and optional courses for their employees. While the former additionally offers trainings for volunteers, the latter also provides humanitarian assistance programmes for a) employees of fire and rescue services; b) the armed forces; c) law enforcement employees; and d) other public sector employees working on rescue and protection operations.

Seminar/short courses

Two NGOs – the SLOGA Platform and IRD Global Zavod – periodically offer short courses and trainings directly and/or indirectly related to the provision of humanitarian assistance. Several of their programmes are implemented in cooperation with regional and international partners and initiatives.


Development Assistance Committee, OECD. 2012. Special Review of Slovenia. [online] Available at: http://www.oecd.org/development/peer-reviews/50110911.pdf / [Accessed 12 October 2014].

Ministry of Defence, Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief. [online] Available at: http://www.sos112.si/eng/index.php [Accessed 11 October 2014].

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance. [online] Available at: http://www.mzz.gov.si/en/foreign_policy_and_international_law/foreign_policy/international_development_cooperation_and_humanitarian_assistance/ [Accessed 12 October 2014].

Slovenian Red Cross Society, A Brief Overview of the Slovenian Red Cross. [online] Available at: http://www.rks.si/docs/About_Slovenian_Red_Cross/SRC_Brief.pdf [Accessed 12 October 2014].

The Resolution on International Development Cooperation of the Republic of Slovenia for the period until 2015, adopted by the National Assembly on 11 July 2008. [online] Available at: http://www.mzz.gov.si/en/foreign_policy_and_international_law/foreign_policy/international_development_cooperation_and_humanitarian_assistance/international_development_cooperation_of_slovenia/act_the_resolution_and_other_documents_on_the_slovenian_development_cooperation/ [Accessed 11 October 2014].

Vlada RS, 2013. Okvirni program mednarodnega razvojnega sodelovanja in humanitarne pomoči Republike Slovenije za obdobje 2013 do 2015. [online] Available at: http://www.mzz.gov.si/fileadmin/pageuploads/Zunanja_politika/ZDH/Zakoni_in_dokumenti/Okvirni_program_13-15.pdf [Accessed 11 October 2014].


Prof. Dr. Maja Bučar, University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Social Sciences)
Asst. Prof. Dr. Vasilka Sancin, University of Ljubljana (Law Faculty)

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