Humanitarian Organizations and the evolution of Humanitarianism: The Theory and Practice

Befekadu Bogale Biru


Humanitarianism could be best defined via the commonly referred guiding principles whereas the strategies adopted to achieve ‘the humanitarian goals’ and the achievements made or claimed provide a practical meaning to the principles. Particularly, the humanitarian organizations or agencies help to make sense of humanitarianism and its guiding principles via the assessment of the strategies the organizations adopt to address the humanitarian needs and their success histories. Accordingly, this article overviews the role of humanitarian organizations for the evolution humanitarianism and realization of the principles. It aims to assess their contributions in light of the contemporary humanitarian demands and the limitations observed in practice. Thus, the specific questions are what roles the humanitarian organizations play in preventing and alleviating human suffering? What has been achieved and what are the major limitations? Finally, the article aims to highlight the need for pragmatism and rethinking of humanitarian strategies given the complex humanitarian demands of the 21st century.

Keywords: Humanitarianism, Humanitarian organizations, Humanitarian principles

DOI: 10.7176/IAGS/97-01

Publication date:October 31st 2022


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