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Q:The Rysaback-Smith article and the Sphere Guidelines discuss some history of humanitarian aid and the basic principles that govern humanitarian aid. Do you see the manner in which humanitarian aid is provided changing? Please describe the change and how it could impact populations requiring aid as well as the impact on providers of humanitarian aid.

1) Humanitarian aid is logistic or material support provided to people who affected by a man-made or natural crisis, or to people in third world countries who are suffering from colonialism, famine, and lack of basic resources (Rysaback-Smith, 2015). The humanitarian aid has existed for more than a thousand years with a different concept such as the Zakat in the Islamic religion (Rysaback-Smith, 2015). Yet the new concept of humanitarian aid, which based on the impartial, independent and neutral provision of aid, was developed and still developing since the 20thcentury (Rysaback-Smith, 2015).

The humanitarian aid concept was exclusively related to providing assistance in all meaning to the wounded soldiers. (Rysaback-Smith, 2015). In 1863, that concept was expanded after Swiss activist Henry Dunant proposing to establish a permanent agency to assist soldiers and civilians affected by the war. That led to establishing the Red-Cross as a first true international aid organization (Rysaback-Smith, 2015).

After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles established the League of Nations, which known today as the United Nation (UN), and that led to expanding the humanitarian aid more by the adoption of other functions such as protecting vulnerable populations and maintaining peace. (Rysaback-Smith, 2015). Following World War II, the number of humanitarian aid has increased significantly with more than 200 non-profit organizations within a time frame of 4 years, thanks to the advances in transportation and communication. (Rysaback-Smith, 2015).

Nowadays, the number of NGOs has exceeded thousands due to the more humanitarian aid associated with the increase of natural disasters and wars. the modern provision of aid by the developed countries change to provide humanitarian aid from the short-term provision into the long term, to help poor countries to survive (Rysaback-Smith, 2015). Humanitarian aid today is based on more comprehensive principles than before, Humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence are the four principles developed by the UN to provide the aid in a way best than ever before. (Rysaback-Smith, 2015)

From my viewpoint, nowadays, the governments are committed to providing the assistance more than before thanks to the UN document that required hundreds of NGOs from different countries to follow specific principles. The humanitarian aid has expanded to include building new homes in damaged neighborhoods, hospitals and schools along with providing water and food. However, Political and civil strife may limit full humanitarian access to those affected which is another issue that needs to be discussed.


Rysaback-smith, H. (2015). History and Principles of Humanitarian Action. Brown University,

2) The evolving global environment in which the humanitarian actors operate is posing significant challenges, both in terms of the increasing complexity of the major crises and the effect on the affected people. Conversely, it represents substantial challenges in terms of the changes within the humanitarian sector itself as it tries to respond to the emerging crisis. In the recent years, the term global crisis has become a common term that is mainly used to refer to the convergence of the food, fuel and the financial crises which have a significant effect on the people, thus, calling for humanitarian aid (RYSABACK-SMITH, 2015). The crisis has been as a result of climate change in most of the world. Therefore, the International Humanitarian Law has a role of ensuring it overcome the challenges experienced by the humanitarians through its relevance intact, its adequacy and legal adaptability framework. Also, they require to adjust their laws depending on the changing environment and technology.

The changing environment and technology, however, has both the positive and the negative impacts on the humanitarians. With advanced technology, the humanitarians can gather information and other assistance resources. In the modern world, a high percentage of individuals are highly addicted to the internet. People use the various social media platforms, such as, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, to post the emerging information and activities which may be relevant to the humanitarians when gather resources (Sphere Association, 2018). Besides that, the humanitarian aid group is also able to create various online charity groups that provide chances for all individuals to help and provide the resources, either the monetary or physical that boosts their operation. Thus, through technology, the humanitarian has gained access to a large number of individuals all over the world, and also, they can access information effectively. Some of the negative impacts of the evolving environment is that information posted on various media platforms may be bias and unreliable. Therefore, posing a great challenge for the humanitarians when making their annual reports and references.

Advanced technology and the evolving environment have increased the need for humanitarian aid. However, it has made it easy for humanitarian while assessing information and allocating resources from the well-wishers. Some of the environmental changes resulting in changes include the change in climate and human activities that affect the environment. For instance, some of the social events such as deforestation may result in loss of water, food, and also shelter.


RYSABACK-SMITH, H. (2015). History and Principles of Humanitarian Action. Kare Publishing.

Sphere Association, (2018). The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum

Standards in Humanitarian Response, fourth edition, Geneva, Switzerland.

Department of Emergency Medicine, USA. From…

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