The question of humanitarian aid and the role of NGOs to provide resources to conflict regions

The question of humanitarian aid and the role of NGOs to provide resources to conflict regions
Eva S.

The conflict has been the root of economic and social issues for centuries. The word capacity to deliver deliver resources to belligerent regions in times of conflict was almost non-existent. Nevertheless, with the development of non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the 40s, after the Second World War, the world gained different personal political or social objectives.

An NGO is a non-governmental and non-profit entity that has as its purpose serving others. Nowadays, the existence of NGOs, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), allows humanitarian aid to be established, in its integral majority, in conflict regions. Moreover, humanitarian aid is “understood as providing nutrition, shelter, healthcare, and education to conflict regions in times of need”, revealing the areas where NGOs can contribute to providing resources to conflict regions (Candid).

The current war in Ukraine established the definition of humanitarian aid as a vivid and daily example. Due to the Russian destruction of Ukraine’s territories and infrastructures, many individuals within the country encountered difficulties obtaining food, health assistance, shelter, and education.

              As a result of the Russian attacks on these areas, schools in Ukraine are closed, with only an online educational system made available to student. This way of teaching the young generation, which encounters itself during a bloody war, was improved with NGOs’ help, such as Save the Children, revealing a provision of educational resources to a conflict region (Relief Web).

Regarding food delivery, the United Nations has been taking responsibility of the subject along with NGOs. The World Food Programme has been an advantage in providing Ukraine with the necessary resources to assist its people whose country is under attack. The program claims that “WFP has disbursed more than $200 million to internally displaced Ukrainians, while some 11,000 families in neighbouring Moldova are receiving cash transfers to cover additional expenses for hosting Ukrainian refugees.” Furthermore, ready-to-eat meals are being distributed in Ukraine to provide Ukrainian families with stable nutrition (United Nations).

 As a component of humanitarian aid, health assistance and care have been critical in Ukraine. Numerous hospitals have been bombed, proving Putin’s false narrative of only targeting military establishments. Thus, the United Nations and its Secretary-General, António Guterres, stated that Ukraine’s humanitarian aid requires a significant increase. Although 1.300 metric tonnes of critical medical supplies have been sent to Ukraine, the bloody war created by the Kremlin makes these medical supplies need to be increased or constantly supplied. Therefore, the WHO is preparing for a rough winter to provide health resources and assistance to the courageous country of Ukraine, as claimed by “WHO continues to support the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to restore disrupted services, displaced health workers and destroyed infrastructure, which is essential not only for the health of Ukraine's people but for the country's resilience and recovery,” (United Nations).

The overwhelming need for shelter in Ukraine also aided in the emergence of NGOs like Ukraine Take Shelter, where Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war can find housing anywhere in the world (Ukraine Take Shelter).

Nevertheless, the Ukrainian-Russian war is not the only example of humanitarian aid worldwide. Afghanistan, after the withdrawal of US troops in August 2021, “nearly 100 United Nations member states had pledged more than $1.2 billion in aid for Afghanistan, which has slid toward an ever-deepening humanitarian crisis with the collapse of its Western-backed government in mid-August.” (The Diplomat). A food crisis was deeply fuelled because of an economic crisis within the country. Moreover, the necessity of humanitarian aid by the United Nations and other NGOs is reinforced since “Afghanistan’s health system is on the brink of collapse.” (The Diplomat). These same issues regarding education, shelter, healthcare, and nutrition in Ukraine are also felt in Taliban-dominated Afghanistan.

Therefore, countries such as Ukraine and Afghanistan challenge the true question of whether the role of NGOs in providing resources, through humanitarian aid, to conflict regions is enough to meet the requirements needed by these countries.


Works Cited

"Growing needs for protection and shelter in Ukraine." Relief Web, Danish Refugee Council, 14 Aug. 2022, Accessed 13 Oct. 2022.

"Housing for Ukrainian Refugees." Ukraine Take Shelter, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

"Ukraine: Twice as many schools attacked in the past 100 days as during the first 7 years of conflict." Relief Web, Save the Children, 2 June 2022, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

"Ukraine: UN agencies deliver food, health and other support amid fighting." United Nations, 24 Aug. 2022, Accessed 8 Oct. 2022.

"UN and partners boost presence and aid supplies inside Ukraine." United Nations, 10 Mar. 2022, Accessed 13 Oct. 2022.

"What is an NGO? What role does it play in civil society?" Candid, Accessed 15 Oct. 2022.