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Humanitarian action in a new security environment
There has been an unprecedented growth of humanitarian action since the end of the Cold War. Its expansion has coincided with the proliferation of humanitarian organisations. Thus, both the quantitative and the qualitative roles of the humanitarian agencies have significantly changed.<br /><br />This article describes both the form and background of the proliferation. It aims to explain why and how the humanitarian system was able to expand to such an unprecedented level. The first and second parts sketch the changes within the humanitarian sphere (dealing with both actors and action). The third part describes the political background behind current humanitarian action, and searches for causal relationships between the two. The fourth part is an evaluation of how this expanded system works out at the practical level, and. finally, the conclusion assesses the implications of an expanded humanitarian system.