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Emergency and Humanitarian Aid

Emergency and Humanitarian Aid (EHA) is aimed at assisting victims of natural or man-made catastrophes.

Humanitarian aid makes it possible to act to alleviate the misery and suffering of millions, victims of hunger, wars, injustice and natural catastrophes.

Emergency aid is aimed at acting quickly after unpredictable events. Planning and execution happen in short term, with a brief analysis of the causes and the most urgent needs. Those actions contribute to strengthen countries’ ability to recover from crisis and start development processes. Emergency aid interventions usually last less than 6 months.

Humanitarian aid addresses structural poor people and emergency aid is intended for catastrophes’ victims.

Humanitarian and emergency aid must respect the non-discrimination principle and are implemented by peaceful means, respecting life preservation and human dignity and aimed at establishing the right conditions for development processes, according to countries’ specificities.

Humanitarian and Emergency aid also have a role in protecting human rights - being able to prevent and report violations of fundamental rights.

Health organizations are usually the first to respond because medical care is the most needed. They have the ability to, in a very short period of time, mobilize specialized staff and material resources. They can count on a significant private funding so they don’t depend solely on public support. Funds are essential because buying goods and materials locally is cheaper than sending from other countries and stimulates local economy.

Organizations specialized in this kind of intervention also play an important role in the rebuilding and rehabilitation processes. People are no longer in life danger, but buildings were destroyed, communications were not restored, there is a lack of access to water and refugee movements disrupted the normal functioning of institutions and communities. The disorganization caused by the crisis makes it difficult the country or region affected to recover from it without external support. It requires population participation and represents an essential step in going back to normality.

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