Guiding Principles for Philanthropic Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Action


World Economic Forum and UN OCHA

Year of publication



Family of document

Institutional Document

Type of document

Operational Guidelines


Since the South Asia Tsunami in 2004, the private sector has shown increasing interest in supporting humanitarian operations worldwide, as evidenced after Hurricane Katrina and the South Asia Earthquake of 2005. Given this growing interest, the World Economic Forum Humanitarian Relief Initiative and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), have devised a set of principles to guide philanthropic private sector engagement in humanitarian action. These principles were developed in consultation with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)*. It is envisioned that a version of these guiding principles can serve as the international humanitarian community’s guidance for future endeavour. Furthermore, it is envisioned that private sector actors will accept this general and cross-cutting guidance, agreeing to adhere to these principles for their philanthropic engagement in humanitarian action. Sector-specific guidelines and standards can be obtained from operational agencies directly. Finally, this initiative is not meant as a prelude to establishing a formal structure for coordinating private sector aid.


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