- Armed conflict
This chapter explores the overall approach of international humanitarian law to humanitarian assistance. The notion of humanitarian assistance is intrinsically linked to the primary obligation of the parties to the armed conflict to ensure that the basic needs of the population under their control are fulfilled. The fact that international humanitarian law foresees that other actors such as impartial humanitarian organizations can step in under certain circumstances in order to offer relief to populations affected by armed conflict does not diminish the extent of the primary obligation of the parties to the armed conflict. This obligation is expressly mentioned in Article 55 GC IV and Article 69 AP I defining the scope of the occupying power's responsibilities vis-à-vis the civilian population of the occupied territory. These provisions oblige the occupying power to make available to the occupied population various supplies essential for its survival.
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