The overall aim of this article is to illustrate the recent challenges to humanitarian action caused by the doctrine of the Global War on Terror. Therefore, the first part will give an illustrated overview of how insecurity in the field influences the performance of humanitarian actors and how beneficiaries suffer from this change. A very common perception among the beneficiaries of humanitarian aid, explicitly in conflict zones like Afghanistan and Iraq, is that relief action is conducted and somehow even imposed by foreign states, and therefore humanitarian aid is another tool of western imperialism. The impact of counter-terrorist donor strategies and security concerns of humanitarian actors is described in the second part. The main focus of this article will be: (1) donors policies, (2) action of implementing partners, and (3) beneficiaries.
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