AAHO Membership and the Benefits (services)

One of the most important aspects of humanitarian work is the emphasis on “why” – why do we undertake this job? No one disputes that the humanitarian sector provides prosperity to a select few, but beyond pay numbers, the nature of the job itself merits more examination.

What exactly does being a humanitarian involve? It’s a term we use a lot, yet it may be difficult to pin down exactly what it means. This section discusses the whys of humanitarian assistance and its benefits.

The humanitarian, by definition, is placed in close proximity to some of our most complicated issues and crises, both apparent and unseen, both on the news and in our everyday lives. In situations ranging from severe poverty and forced relocation to natural disaster assistance and support for victims of war, the humanitarian sector is both a part of and separate from the action taking place on the ground.

Every contributor, supporter, partner, and team member makes a significant contribution to our ability to assist those in need survive and flourish today and in the years to come.

We understand the various ways in which we, as a global community, are assisting people in facing crises, recovering from disasters, and rebuilding stronger than they were before.

Humanitarism Is For Emergencies.

Humanitarian help is the support that is provided to alleviate suffering in times of crisis. In order to alleviate human suffering, development assistance is directed at resolving long-term problems that are a source of concern.

In these situations, humanitarian assistance typically immediately helps the recipients, as in the distribution of emergency supply packages to earthquake survivors or the screening and treatment of malnourished displaced children. At the same time, they are housed in temporary shelters. Additionally, financial contributions may be sent to individuals in need to assist them in getting through a crisis in the near term. Development assistance is often utilized to strengthen structural systems, which benefit whole communities when feasible, says the World Bank (such as educational training and support in underserved areas). As a dual-mission organization, the concern is committed to tackling both humanitarian emergencies and long-term development objectives.

Occasionally, the priorities for humanitarian assistance and development assistance may be complementary to one another. Emergency humanitarian aid provided to Mozambique and Malawi in the early aftermath of Cyclone Idai, for example, will support those families most impacted by the storm in coping with the aftermath of the storm, according to the United Nations Development Programme. Farmer climate resilience may be improved via development assistance. A more comprehensive disaster risk reduction system may be implemented to ensure that these communities are better prepared for the next catastrophe to hit them.

Humanitarism is Based on Some Basic Rules

In order for the various multinational organizations operating in this area to have a uniform definition, there are a few important features of humanitarian assistance that should be considered first. The Humanitarian Imperative, on the other hand, is often regarded as the “golden rule.” Above all, it is our responsibility to save lives and relieve suffering.

The Humanitarian Imperative is defined (in part) by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Code of Conduct as follows: “The right to receive humanitarian aid, as well as the right to provide it… wherever it is required.” Concern strives to strike a balance between these two objectives by focusing on preserving dignity during and after catastrophes, as well as improving community preparation for future emergencies.

Four Fundamental Principles guide humanitarian assistance.

There are many additional guiding principles for humanitarian assistance, all of which were established by the United Nations General Assembly in their original form.


Humanity requires us to seek out and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found, with special care paid to those who are most susceptible to harm.

Furthermore, this implies that our local offices should be prepared to react to crises quickly and efficiently in any nation in which we operate. We all have the right to live our lives in dignity.


Our solutions must be given exclusively on the basis of recognized need, with no distinction made between or within impacted groups and without prejudice. This is the underlying principle of all “needs-based” programing. In order to effectively respond to catastrophes, we must first evaluate their effects before developing programs to assist those who have been left most vulnerable.


We must make certain that our answers do not favor one side over another in a dispute and that we do not get embroiled in any political, racial, religious, or ideological conflicts at any point in time. This is probably the most difficult of the four principles to adhere to in practice.


The primary goal of humanitarian actions and aid is to alleviate and prevent the suffering caused by disasters and other emergencies. Therefore, our response should be uninfluenced by political, economic, or military goals in order to be effective. Humanitarian organizations develop and execute policies that are separate from and independent of government policies or activities (thus the phrase “non-governmental organization” or “non-profit organization”).

Because Not All Emergencies Are Created Equally,

Traditionally, the fundamental approach to humanitarian assistance has been to concentrate on urgent needs in the aftermath of a catastrophe while simultaneously addressing the future in order to reduce the likelihood of similar disasters occurring. On the other hand, emergency situations have grown in duration over the last several decades, making them more challenging to deal with. The longer a situation is left unattended, the more complicated it may grow. “Complex emergencies” are what we call instances in which government services have failed to function properly.

Humanitarian groups lack their most essential partner during complex crises, and individuals are often unable to receive the assistance they need to recover. It also means that organizations must dig deeper to determine what and where the needs are, and they often struggle to find willing donors when crises go on for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, this is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception.

The Work Is Far More Complicated Than It Seems.

Consider the following hypothetical scenario: You are the director of a Concern program office in a nation that has been ravaged by war and turmoil for years. Within this context, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake strikes a region of the nation.

You’ve decided which organizations in the area need the greatest assistance after consulting with people of the community openly and transparently. One of them is a minority group in a difficult-to-reach region of the state. Even though this region was spared the worst effects of the earthquake, the group in charge will only allow you to enter the difficult-to-reach section if you also pay them a portion of your food rations.

This arrangement would be in violation of the Humanitarian Principles of the United Nations. However, ignoring the group in the greatest need implies that you are acting against the Humanitarian Imperative. What are you going to do?

Humanitarian assistance workers are confronted with these dilemmas on a daily basis, and they create an already tough profession that is much more difficult to manage. A scenario like the one described above may necessitate a complete withdrawal from the region if it is determined that it is impossible to communicate with the difficult to reach group while still ensuring that relief efforts are carried out ethically and objectively.

Therefore, extensive training is needed for humanitarian relief workers to ensure that they have been well-equipped to handle these difficulties, which may have life-or-death implications for both the most vulnerable populations and those who provide humanitarian assistance themselves. (This is also why we have two humanitarian training programs to help people prepare for a better response.)

Ending Note

We believe that if you have the ability to make a difference, you should, and so we do. In a world where global events are spiraling out of our control, we choose to make a difference where we can.

In our view, these issues are not a click away or halfway across the globe, but instead here in our own backyard. These issues are right in our own backyard, from providing direct assistance in addressing health concerns; finding and helping people for better well-being to address education and learning gaps wherever they may be found.

The magnitude of the task, as well as the plethora of justifications that might be used to justify inactivity, can frequently lead to a state of paralysis.

Therefore, we make a deliberate decision to remain focused on all of the positive things that we can do. We believe that every time we are successful in providing something more for someone who has so little, we are providing a counterbalance to the remaining problems of the world, which we believe is true.

Our ability to perform this job is based on our vision or our “why.” We just believe that we have the ability to make a difference.