International humanitarian architecture
"Each state has the resonsiblitiy first and foremost to take care of the victums of natural disasters and other emergencies occurring in its territory". UN General Assembly Resolution46/182
- Local communities, families, national and local government, civil society and the private sector are almost always the first to respond and provide humanitarian assistance.
- International humanitarian agencies should build on and strengthen this capacity, endeavour to engage with national actors and authorities and keep them informed. Also to link humanitarian assistance to existing development actors, plans and policies to ensure that it:
- is appropriate for the local context;
- contributes to achieving longer term development objectives;
- does not increase vulnerability, or fuel future inequality, conflict or suffering.
How is humanitarian response organised?
1. National government has
primary responsibility for
responding to humanitarian
2. If there is no functioning
government or the
government lacks the
necessary capacity to
respond, they may request
3. UNOCHA is mandated to
humanitarian response (UN
4. National and international
response efforts should be
coordinated in addressing the
most urgent needs of the
In situations of internal conflict involving the government, there may be a need for independent, unbiased coordination of the international humanitar
Key humanitarian actors
Humanitarian community - 3 'families': 1.UN and international organizations, 2. non-government organizations (NGOs) and 3. the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IFRC, ICRC).
Donors e.g. USAID, AusAid, CIDA, DFID - providing bi-lateral aid (direct funding to
individual agencies) or multi-lateral funding (through the EU, World Bank, DEC, pooled funding mechanisms)
Military and peacekeeping actors – providing protection, maintaining law and order, assisting in search and rescue, distributions etc
This page was last updated on 4 November 2013