Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need
Section D. Right of the civilian population in need to receive humanitarian relief
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “If the civilian population of a certain area is not equipped with elementary necessities, relief actions have to be undertaken.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
If the civilian population of a territory is not adequately provided with elementary supplies (food, medicines and dressings, clothing, shelter, etc.), relief actions must be undertaken. This relates to the civilian population as a whole, in other words not only protected persons. Offers of such relief may not be regarded as intervention in the armed conflict.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Section 10 - Humanitarian aid
The International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo drew up the “Guiding Principles on the Right to Humanitarian Assistance” in 1993. This “recommendation” states … inter alia
that there is a right to request and receive humanitarian aid.