Humanitarianism saves lives and eliminates suffering by giving necessities, such as food, water, medical supplies, and shelter. While humanitarianism focuses on immediate needs, it is also required to achieve long-term development goals.
A world with no poverty or oppression of any kind is something that might seem impossible to achieve. However with the right vision and plans, achieving this could be possible. Humanitarian aid would help society to get over these obstacles. Firstly, let’s take a look at what humanitarian aid means.
What is humanitarian aid?
During emergencies, society or a group of people would be subjected to a lot of suffering. Humanitarian aid assists these people by relieving their suffering. However, this is completely different from what development aid does since it is responsible to address the issue that is going on. In other words, humanitarian aid is used for the betterment of the people directly, whereas development aid is used to bring structural changes. Both humanitarian aid and development aid help to reduce poverty.
When inequality meets risks, poverty takes place. This is where humanitarian aid comes into the picture. Below are a few examples of how humanitarian aid assists:
- Due to drought or any other climatic uncertainties the growth of the crops could be compromised. This would damage the economic conditions of the farmers on a higher level. To eliminate this problem, humanitarian aid provides the farmers with short-cycle seeds. These seeds can be grown quickly. This would then solve the economic crisis that the farmers face.
- There are a huge number of people, especially women and children, who live in refugee camps. They have poor health conditions as most of them face malnutrition. Hunger is a major threat and the limited amount of resources makes the situation more difficult for the people living here. To solve these problems, humanitarian aid sets up clinics in these regions to provide food and medical commodities.
- There could be climatic uncertainty such as floods which could displace people away from their homeland. Humanitarian aid provides cash to these families so that they can adjust to the new place.
The Importance Of Humanitarian Aid
The meaning of humanitarian aid more than just the definition. Their main purpose is to reduce and eliminate suffering and more importantly save lives. They do not discriminate based on race, politics, gender, ethnicity, etc. If there was no humanitarian aid, the poverty of a county would get worse and this would leave a stronger impact on the country. This impact could even last for generations. Humanitarian aid has a list of rules and regulations that have to be followed.
The United Nations, which was founded to respond to the World War II humanitarian catastrophe, establishes four essential principles in its General Assembly:
This states that one should address the suffering of others when found. One should give attention to vulnerable people. This means that humanitarian aid could be found in any country over the world. Their local branches will provide help whenever and wherever needed. Their main motto is that everyone has the right to live their life with dignity.
There should not be any kind of discrimination based on the identity of an individual. And the response that is given should be completely based on the needs that are required to be fulfilled. This is also known as ‘need-based’ programming. Here, the damage that is done due to the calamity is firstly calculated. According to this, a program is then prepared to assist the ones that are in need.
Humanitarian aid needs to keep in mind to not take sides during any kind of conflict or disagreement. They should also not engage in any religious, racial, political, or other controversies. This is one of the main reasons that make this principle more challenging than the others.
The main purpose of humanitarian crises is to minimize the suffering caused because of crises. Therefore, none of the decisions made by humanitarian aid should be influenced by any political, economic, or military view. The policies that are made by humanitarian aid are independent.
By following the principles mentioned-above, humanitarian aid has assisted several areas to get over unfortunate situations. Still, a lot of attention is required for them to get rid of the problems that people face on a worldwide scale. There are many international aid organizations that would help to achieve this.