When does a humanitarian agency cease to be a humanitarian agency?

by | Aug 6, 2019 | Development |

Is it what we do? Our principles? Our work?

Humanitarian aid can be defined as a wide range of activities providing help to those who are in need. There can be a number of different types of actors involved in aid delivery including: UN agencies, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), military institutions, local government institutions and donor agencies.

The foundations of humanitarian action are the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality.

When humanitarian agencies demand those in need to be digitally registered providing us with all their personally identifiable information before we give them aid, can we be said to be still upholding the humanitarian principles?

What humanitarian problem we are solving by storing all the data about those in need in a global centralised databases? If it is about de-duplication, why do we need to be able to do this at a global level? How often do those in humanitarian need travel the globe visiting all the humanitarian hotspots?

Are we solving a humanitarian problem or a control problem? Or is it something completely different?

Photo by Alice Achterhof

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