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The core principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality provide the foundation for humanitarian action. Supported by International Humanitarian Law and various policy frameworks, standards, and institutional mandates, they are widely acknowledged. However, their interpretation and implementation remain difficult in practice.

In many contexts such as Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria and the Central African Republic, the challenges and operational dilemmas faced by humanitarian actors in responding to the needs of populations affected by crisis in a principled manner have come starkly to the fore. The proliferation of new actors, constraints on funding, inconsistent mandates, increased risk aversion, and pressure to conform to the political and security agendas of States or armed groups are some of the elements that make the work of humanitarian actors more and more difficult.

This online platform hosted by ALNAP is part of the Norwegian Refugee Council initiative towards strengthening adherence to and awareness of Principled Humanitarian Action. Supported by OFDA, the project is targeting a wide range of actors at global and operational levels to improve the understanding of what Principled humanitarian action means in practice and to foster dialogue on dilemmas faced by operational actors on the ground. As part of its engagement, the Norwegian Refugee Council is also co-chairing the Interagency Standing Committee Reference Group on Principled Humanitarian Action which supports reflection on Principled humanitarian action.

The Principled Humanitarian Action in Practice Portal is a resource library which aims to strengthen the understanding of humanitarian principles by making available a wide range of documents such as studies, guidance documents, toolkits and papers on the application of humanitarian principles in practice.

Please feel free to contribute to the portal with studies, documents and other relevant materials related to the humanitarian principles, including humanitarian ethic, humanitarian access and negotiation, civil military coordination, risk management.

The portal also offers a link to the on-line Community of Practice on Principled Humanitarian Action, where humanitarian practitioners can ask questions or exchange views and practices on principled humanitarian action, access and risk management. Managed by the Norwegian Refugee Council in Geneva, the platform provides a secure forum where humanitarian practitioners can present ideas and engage through dialogue.

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