Humanitarian Aid is usually considered to be the short-term assistance given to meet the requirements of saving lives, alleviating suffering, and maintaining human dignity during disasters and crises, both natural and man-made. It can include food, water, medical supplies, tents, and other things required by those affected by everything from typhoons to civil wars
Also known as emergency aid, it is distinct from development aid, which aims at long-term economic improvement. As it is short-term, it usually works in the intermediary until the national government can replace it with a sustained long-term solution to the problem.
More comprehensive examples of what humanitarian aid entails include: Material relief assistance and services (shelter, water, medicines etc.), emergency food aid (short-term distribution and supplementary feeding programmes), relief coordination, protection and support services (coordination, logistics and communications), reconstruction relief and rehabilitation (repairing pre-existing infrastructure as opposed to longer-term activities designed to improve the level of infrastructure, and disaster prevention and preparedness (disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, contingency stocks and planning).
Disasters such as earthquakes, floods, famine and war often occur when people least expect them. When disaster strikes, we all have a duty to assist the people affected. Generally, the victims of disaster are assisted by their neighbors, communities and government. In poor countries however, major disasters can easily overwhelm national capabilities. In such cases, the international community must respond.
- Dóchas Humanitarian Aid Working Group Submission to the Public Consultation on Ireland's New International Development Policy (2018)
- Dóchas Humanitarian Aid Working Group Submission to the JCFATD Review of Irish Aid (2017)
- Dóchas Humanitarian Aid Working Group 'Supporting Syria and the Region' (2016)
- Dóchas 'Nepal Earthquake: Lessons learnt from responding to earthquakes' (2015)
- Dóchas 'Lessons Learned from Drought' (2011)
- Dóchas 'Lessons Learned from Floods' (2010)
- Dóchas 'Emergencies: NGO's Helping People Back from the Brink' (2010)
- Dóchas Statement on World Humanitarian Day 2017
- Dóchas Statement on World Humanitarian Day 2015
- Dóchas Statement on World Humanitarian Day 2013
- Dóchas Statement on World Humanitarian Day 2011
Government and Multilateral Publications
- Ireland's Humanitarian Assistance Policy
- The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid
- OCHA World Humanitarian Summit Progress Report 'No Time to Retreat' (2017)
- European Commission 'Resilience to Disasters'
- Development Initiatives 'Global Humanitarian Report' (2018)
- Linking Humanitarian Aid with Development (2017)