The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Scott Romaniuk, Manish Thapa, Péter Marton

Humanitarian Assistance

  • Krisztina SzabóEmail author
Living reference work entry


This section moves away from development aid as discussed in the entry on Official Development Assistance and focuses on aid provided to help those whose lives are profoundly affected by, and whose livelihoods are immediately at risk as a result of, natural or man-made disasters. This article seeks to provide conceptual clarity regarding humanitarian action and humanitarian assistance as well as to present the main humanitarian principles governing the humanitarian system. The questions of why some parts of these definitions are much debated and how these terms have evolved over time are discussed in this article, along with a list of the largest recipients and donors of humanitarian assistance. Given the complex financing landscape, this section only introduces the largest and most influential actors in the humanitarian system, without a truly exhaustive overview. In the final section, recent data and tendencies are presented, offering some evidence that humanitarian...


Humanitarian assistance Humanitarian action Humanitarian principles Donors and recipients 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central European UniversityCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary