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Assistance to the Victims of Armed Conflictsand Other Disasters

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Chapter Summary

The subject of international humanitarian assistance to the victims of armed conflicts and other disasters holds great topical interest. The programme of the international conference centres around two key concepts: on the one hand, the situation: the disaster; on the other, the action: international humanitarian assistance. As a common household word, the term "disaster" cannot be said to have acquired any very precise meaning. In contrast with the general notion "disaster", "armed conflict" is an international legal term of art and has been so ever since its inclusion in the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. "Humanitarian" assistance to the victims of disasters doubtless includes the provision of medical supplies, food, clothing, bedding and suchlike goods, as well as the required means of transport and the money to finance the purchase of all such supplies.

Keywords: armed conflict; disaster victims; Geneva Conventions of 1949; international humanitarian assistance



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