Rethinking Humanitarian Aid: Making the Case for Humanitarian Social Protection

Zina S. Nimeh, Tamara A. Kool, Francesco Iacoella, Alexander Hunns

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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The challenges and responsibility posed on the entire international community as a result of the increasing prevalence of the global refugee population and humanitarian emergencies is ever intensifying. While in its essence humanitarian aid seeks to alleviate some of the perils that refugees face, it transpires as insufficient and unsustainable particularly when displacement becomes protracted. This article draws attention to this issue by arguing that if social protection is viewed from a transformative lens, it could be regarded as a strategic approach to reduce deprivations and enhance resilience through strengthening the link between humanitarian aid and human development. Structurally extending coordinated social protection provisions to refugees could be a pathway forward to durable solutions. This article is written as a response to the 2019 Global Refugee Forum and tackles the complex question of extending social protection benefits to refugees while simultaneously linking the need promoting resilience of the host community through developing a framework that links humanitarian social protection to human development processes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers

JEL classifications

  • i31 - General Welfare
  • i38 - "Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs"
  • y80 - Related Disciplines


  • Humanitarian Social Protection
  • Humanitarian development Nexus
  • Global Refugee Forum
  • Humanitarian aid
  • Development aid

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