Humanitarian assistance: is it politically instrumentalized?

Authors

  • Hari Krishna Bhattarai Nepal Development Society (NEDS), Chitwan
  • Kshitiz Acharya Nepal Red Cross Society, Earthquake Response Operation
  • Anthony Land Fordham University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v17i1.20563

Keywords:

Humanitarian, Assistance, Political, Instrumentalized, Crisis

Abstract

Humanitarian assistance, increasingly being used as a strategic tool, to fulfill the political objectives has been a widely discussed issue at national and international levels. Non-governmental Organizations including United Nations and its agencies are questioned on their neutrality while providing the humanitarian assistance in many places and more often during the complex humanitarian emergencies. This has not only raised questions on humanitarian principles but also created a very negative and counterproductive situation and thus limits an impartial, neutral and effective humanitarian action. The deontological approach might not be applicable in every scenario. One size does not fit all. So, consequentialist approach together with the morality of the action itself needs to be adopted for expanding the horizon of humanity without compromising the core humanitarian principles. All actors should respect the humanitarian principles. Humanitarian assistance is to be impartial and not driven by the politics of the conflict, aimed only at alleviating the people’s suffering. The core humanitarian imperatives founded on neutrality and independence are the key tools to secure access to all communities in need; impartiality and humanity represent the essence of humanitarian philosophy and cannot be compromised.

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Published

2018-07-14

How to Cite

Bhattarai, H. K., Acharya, K., & Land, A. (2018). Humanitarian assistance: is it politically instrumentalized?. Health Prospect, 17(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.3126/hprospect.v17i1.20563

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