PUBH641 - Humanitarian Assistance and Health
Teaching Organisation: Nil
Humanitarian assistance is intended to ‘save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity during and after man–made crises and disasters caused by natural hazards, as well as to prevent and strengthen preparedness for when such situations occur‘. It is governed by the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. In 2016, it was estimated that over 164 million people living in 47 countries were in need of humanitarian assistance. Over a quarter of these people were in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. Situations requiring humanitarian assistance are frequently complex emergencies, in which disaster, conflict and refugee displacement occur simultaneously. Such complex emergencies have profound effects of health. This unit will enable students to gain an understanding of humanitarian principles, theory and definitions, as well as an appreciation of the history of humanitarianism and significant events that have shaped modern humanitarian effort. Student will build their understanding of the global infrastructure for humanitarian assistance, such as international relief systems, roles and responsibilities of relevant actors (government and non–government) and the principles of international humanitarian law. Students will explore the health–related dimensions of humanitarian assistance, with emphasis on prevention and management of acute health risks during a humanitarian emergency. Students will conclude the unit by exploring other critical issues of humanitarian assistance, including relief operations, planning and needs assessment, disaster resilience and risk reduction, security issues, the humanitarian workforce, relationship to long–term development and emergent humanitarian needs. The aim of the unit is to give students a deep understanding of the continuing relevance of humanitarian assistance to public health.