2022 The State of the Humanitarian System | Briefing: The shrinking space for principled humanitarian action

Publication language
Date published
01 Dec 2022
Factsheets and summaries

This briefing provides an overview of key facts and figures from 2022 edition of The State of the Humanitarian System (SOHS) on the shrinking space of humanitarian action.

In the face of growing constraints, restrictions and attacks on aid, humanitarians find it ever harder to practise their principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. Aid workers often lack the support, skills and will to make difficult judgement calls in complex environments. At the same time, geopolitical shifts have intensified crises and rendered the international ‘community’ less able to respond effectively. In our interviews with frontline workers and leaders, two of the themes that came up consistently were the decline of multilateralism and the shrinking of civil society space. Both have the effect, in multiple ways, of obstructing the delivery of effective and impartial humanitarian aid to those most in need.