This latest edition of the Sphere Handbook, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, is the product of broad inter-agency collaboration.
The Humanitarian Charter and minimum standards reflect the determination of agencies to improve both the effectiveness of their assistance and their accountability to their stakeholders, contributing to a practical framework for accountability.
The Humanitarian Charter and minimum standards will not of course stop humanitarian crises from happening, nor can they prevent human suffering. What they offer, however, is an opportunity for the enhancement of assistance with the aim of making a difference to the lives of people affected by disaster.
From their origin in the late 1990s, as an initiative of a group of humanitarian NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the Sphere standards are now applied as the de facto standards in humanitarian response in the 21st century.