The political dimension of humanitarian action. Rethinking the humanitarian space

Irene Raciti


Is emergency relief tackling the symptoms, but not the root causes of complex emergencies, humanitarian? Should No Governmental Humanitarian Agencies integrate a political component to their job, would this compromise the humanitarian imperative and the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence? Is humanitarian action contributing to exempt State from a more direct involvement in the re-solution of complex emergencies? Is there a place for humanitarian action in international politics? If yes, what is that place and what form can that action take? This work explores these questions and attempts to identify which tools would enable NGHA to accomplish their humanitarian imperative, i.e. to prevent and alleviate suffering, while responding to the human claim for justice without compromising the so called "humanitarian space".

Published online: 11 December 2017


emergency relief; humanitarian assistance; complex emergencies; humanitarian space; humanitarian imperative; humanitarian principles; impartiality

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