By P.J.C. Walker. International Review of the Red Cross, No 325, December 1998, p611-617.
A number of authors, notably Hardcastle and Chua writing in this issue of the Review [1 ] , have recently argued the case for either the existence of an international legal right to humanitarian assistance or the need to speedily establish such a right.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is one of the world’s largest providers of humanitarian aid to the victims of natural disasters, both through the local work of the member Societies themselves and through the Federation’s international support for that work. For the Federation, discussions about the need for and/or legality of an international right to assistance prompt reflection on a number of fundamental issues that lie at the heart of the way in which humanitarian assistance, apart from that provided in the maelstrom of the battlefield, is currently delivered.