Humanitarian aid being distributed in Monkayo town.

Humanitarian aid is provided according to four key principles: Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality and Operational Independence. These are enshrined in a UN resolution to which binds all member states, including the Government of the Philippines. The principles have also been incorporated into voluntary codes of conduct and mission statements, such as “The Code of Conduct of the International Red Cross Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations in Disaster Relief” (1994).

Adherence to the principles is what allows humanitarian action to be distinguished from the activities and objectives of other actors, and thus not considered improper interference in State’s domestic affairs. It is the responsibility of all who provide humanitarian help that they adhere to the principles.

Providers of humanitarian aid usually have codes of conduct for their staff, which outline how they should behave especially towards those who receive their assistance.

HUMANITY. Human suffering must be addressed wherever it is found. The purpose of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human beings.

NEUTRALITY. Humanitarian actors must not take sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

IMPARTIALITY. Humanitarian action must be carried out on the basis of need alone, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress and making no distinctions on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class or political opinions.

OPERATIONAL INDEPENDENCE. Humanitarian action must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian action is being implemented. tspablocommcluster