Humanitarian aid: Other Humanitarian Agencies
Humanitarian aid: History and Origins
Humanitarian aid: Defining Characteristics
Humanitarian aid: Humanitarian Policy Debates
Under international law, the state has the first responsibility for the protection and provision of assistance to citizens within its borders. But often the government of an affected country either cannot provide adequate assistance or, in some cases, may be one of the parties causing a humanitarian emergency in the first place. In such cases, other agenciesmay be called on (or take it on themselves) to provide assistance. Following each of the major crises of the 20th century, other agencies were founded to provide humanitarian assistance for the victims of war as well as people affected by natural disasters or other crises. These include specialized UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). UN agencies mostly formed in the aftermath of World War II include the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The largest of the UN humanitarian agencies, the World Food Programme was founded in 1963, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was founded in 1998, reorganized from the former Department of Humanitarian Affairs.
Major NGOs were also formed in response to the crises of the 20th century: Save the Children was formed in the aftermath of World War I, CARE and Oxfam in response to World War II, and World Vision in response to the Korean War. Medecins sans Frontie`res was formed in 1969 after French doctors split with the ICRC over the issue of raising public awareness about the plight of civilians during the Biafran war. More recent crises have seen the advent of increasing numbers of nontraditional providers of humanitarian aid including the military, private for-profit companies, and contractors.