Aid operations in the Western World are guided by four principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and operational independence, as laid out by the General Assembly of the United Nations. These principles have been considered essential to the mission of providing aid around the globe.
However, a new kind of framework is being pioneered by different philanthropic organizations in the United States, such as Spirit of America, which provide aid in congruence with U.S. military and diplomatic objectives. In light of these endeavors, it is necessary to re-examine the principles which currently guide philanthropic and aid-giving operations.
Is neutrality the most efficient and beneficial way of supplying aid? Can aid operations really be divorced from political, economic, and military objectives? Should they be?
The following Heritage Foundation panel of experts explores the possible advantages of moving away from neutrality in philanthropic and aid operations, and the implications of such a shift.