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Why is it important – Part 4

Why is Humanitarian Aid Important?

Humanitarian aid can come as an early recovery response in the first phase, focusing on providing assistance and meeting the basic needs of people right after a crisis occurs. After that initial phase, humanitarian aid can play an important role in helping communities continue to rebuild.

Exactly why is humanitarian aid important?

Humanitarian aid provides emergency assistance

When there’s a crisis, those who are already vulnerable often suffer the most. Vulnerable populations may not have access to basic needs like shelter, food, and healthcare. So, international humanitarian aid that responds to emergencies can help to meet these immediate needs.

Humanitarian aid can set the stage for rebuilding communities

In an immediate crisis, emergency humanitarian aid brings comfort and relief to those affected through food, shelter, medical aid, and more. Later on, humanitarian aid can help with the reconstruction of communities and resettlement of refugees.

Humanitarian aid supports education

The benefits of humanitarian aid go far beyond immediate relief. Crises, whether man-made or due to natural disasters, often translate to a disruption in education for children in the area. Aid programs may work to provide ongoing education in the midst of disaster responses and support children to enrol in — and consistently attend — school.

Humanitarian aid provides shelter during crises

Conflicts and disasters lead to large numbers of people losing their homes. Humanitarian aid not only provides temporary shelter for people affected by crises, but also offers materials, labour, and other resources to help communities and societies rebuild in the wake of disasters. Humanitarian aid can play a big role in providing safe and secure shelter.

Humanitarian aid responds to climate change

As climate change continues to impact the planet, the most vulnerable populations will often feel its effects earlier and more intensely. Droughts, floods, land degradation, reduced farmable land—how climate change manifests may not look the same in different parts of the globe, but it will impact communities everywhere. International humanitarian aid can respond to food shortages, displacement, and other impacts of climate change.

Humanitarian aid builds local capacity

International humanitarian aid provides essential relief during emergencies, but aid is important beyond those immediate responses. Humanitarian actors can help build local capacity by partnering with local organizations, hiring local staff, and working to develop the resources and skills of the local community.

When done effectively, this aspect of humanitarian aid allows future aid to come from local people and organizations, ultimately cutting down on reliance on international aid while prioritizing actors embedded in local contexts.

Humanitarian aid supports food security and nutrition

Humanitarian aid can be critical to helping populations affected by famine survive and recover. Some aid programs work to ensure communities can access food supplies, while other projects improve childhood nutrition.

A rapid response can save lives in times of crisis, so humanitarian organizations may keep food supplies positioned so they can swiftly move into affected areas when disasters occur.

Humanitarian aid plays a key role in global health

International aid can take a few different forms in the realm of healthcare, with effects felt around the world. Humanitarian organizations provide medical and mental health services to displaced populations and communities without the resources and infrastructure to provide these services and may also respond to disease outbreaks by delivering vital vaccinations and treatments.

Humanitarian aid saves lives

Above all, effective international humanitarian aid can save lives. Humanitarian responses operate with the primary goal of preventing loss of life, and aid can play a key role in mitigating the effects of crises, conflicts, and disasters.

Humanitarian aid responses, with the proper funding and resources, can support communities as they navigate a crisis, ultimately reducing the number of deaths and easing the burden community’s face.

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