IRRC No. 897/898

Faith and impartiality in humanitarian response: Lessons from Lebanese evangelical churches providing food aid

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This case study of a network of evangelical churches in Lebanon, based on data collected during an evaluation in 2014, presents a critique of common understandings about the humanitarian principle of impartiality, and questions assumptions about the compatibility between religious fervour and humanitarian values. Churches attempting to respect impartiality while implementing a food aid project for Syrian refugees have sought to mitigate potential problems through relationship-building and promotion of human dignity in order to ensure needs- responsiveness. Though many Lebanese Evangelical Christians do continue to engage in evangelistic activity, they benefit from strong community ties and demonstrate a high level of sensitivity to their beneficiaries' urgent needs as well as their sense of dignity.

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