"‘Humanitarian aid’ is aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies."
This definition for humanitarian aid is taken from Global Humanitarian Assistance. The definition excludes any long term development assistance. The definition provides some useful examples of traditional responses to humanitarian crises:
- Material relief assistance and services (shelter, water, medicines etc.);
- Emergency food aid (short-term distribution and supplementary feeding programmes);
- Relief coordination, protection and support services (coordination, logistics and communications).
- Reconstruction relief and rehabilitation (repairing pre-existing infrastructure as opposed to longer-term activities designed to improve the level of infrastructure;
- Disaster prevention and preparedness (disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, contingency stocks and planning).