Humanitarianism is made up of many aspects and has its roots in various areas. The first is that of private charity and caring for those who suffer. This area has given rise to most of the organizations that are label as NGO’s. The second area is that of politically directed relief. The provision of relief to alleviate hardship after and during a war has been part of the political system for as long as there have been warring parties. Lastly, is a hybrid between the two such as the Red Cross and specifically the ICRC, which comes out of a deal that was cut between a concerned citizen Henri Dunant and a canny political leader, Napoleon III. In return for guaranteeing unimpeded access to the battlefield for his local volunteers, Henri Dunant agreed that they would act in a neutral way and not seek to affect the outcome of the fighting.
In each of these areas, there can be found a unique relationship between the practitioner and the beneficiary, which ranges from a broad agenda to address and prevent suffering and injustice, to an explicit political agenda. Today the divisions between these three traditions have become blurred to the point that they are indistinguishable. Humanitarians, from all countries, seek to help victims of a crisis. There needs to be a common understanding of necessary knowledge, skills and standards, to effectively aid a disaster victim. Otherwise, they are at the mercy of personal whims, political expediency, and ineffectual, action.
Josh Jambon is an experienced business professional and the founder of Jambon Boats. He is also a well-known humanitarian who has helped many people in need both here in the US and abroad.