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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

How to use this chapter


This chapter is divided into seven main sections:
Water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH)
Hygiene promotion
Water supply
Excreta disposal
Vector control
Solid waste management
The Protection Principles and Core Standards must be used consistently with this chapter.
Although primarily intended to inform humanitarian response to a disaster, the minimum standards may also be considered during disaster preparedness and the transition to recovery activities.
Each section contains the following:
  • Minimum standards: These are qualitative in nature and specify the minimum levels to be attained in humanitarian response regarding the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion.
  • Key actions:These are suggested activities and inputs to help meet the standards.
  • Key indicators: These are ‘signals’ that show whether a standard has been attained. They
    provide a way of measuring and communicating the processes and results of key actions; they
    relate to the minimum standard, not to the key action.
  • Guidance notes: These include specific points to consider when applying the minimum standards, key actions and key indicators in different situations. They provide guidance on tackling practical difficulties, benchmarks or advice on priority issues. They may also include critical issues relating to the standards, actions or indicators, and describe dilemmas, controversies or gaps in current knowledge.

If the required key indicators and actions cannot be met, the resulting adverse implications for the affected population should be appraised and appropriate mitigating actions taken.

A needs assessment checklist is included as Appendix 1; guideline notes are provided in Appendices 2–6; and a select list of references and further reading, which points to sources of information on both specific and general issues relating to this chapter, is also provided.