The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives and ensure respect for human dignity for those at risk of or affected by natural and man-made disasters.
Humanitarian aid also encompasses actions to prevent and mitigate the effects of crises.
Polish humanitarian aid is provided mainly in the form of contributions to international institutions and as co-financing of activities by Polish non-governmental humanitarian organisations. Humanitarian organisations and agencies have a permanent and extensive aid distribution network. Polish missions, chiefly embassies, are also actively involved in humanitarian aid operations. While responding to humanitarian needs it is necessary to identify the most vulnerable groups in the affected population—taking into account the specific needs of women, children, as well as elderly, ill and disabled people.