“It is a denial of justice not to stretch out a helping hand to the fallen that is the common right of humanity.” – Seneca the Elder
World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world. World leaders have the power to ensure the protection of the millions of civilians caught in conflict around the globe. We must come together to remind leaders that civilians are #NotATarget.
Facts about Humanitarian Aid:
- Today, more than 135 million people need humanitarian aid, more than the populations of the UK and France combined
- Over 68 million people around the world have been forced from their homes due to war, violence and persecution
- More than 11 million people in Yemen, 8 million in Nigeria, and 2 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo need aid but are not even included in the numbers targeted for international aid
- Total international humanitarian aid is only just ahead of the amount spent annually on chewing gum
- Some 78 per cent of international humanitarian aid ($21.8 billion) came through governments, ultimately from their taxpayers
Below you will find 5 reasons why we need Humanitarian Workers now more than ever:
1. Providing emergency assistance
In the midst of crisis — when the most vulnerable lack access to basic needs such as food, shelter, and health care, humanitarian aid brings relief in times of need. Help is provided based on need, with the goal of saving human lives, soothing human suffering and maintaining human dignity.
2. Rebuilding communities
Emergency aid provides relief and comfort to victims who are unable to deal on their own with the emergency situation – food, medical aid, shelter, etc. In a later stage, it might mean assistance with physical reconstruction of communities, resettlement of refugees and reintegration of former adversaries.
3. Educating the next generation
School feeding programs set up by humanitarian workers not only encourage children to enroll in school and attend regularly, they also provide vital nutrients, improving children’s ability to think and learn. By focusing on education and family, they build sustainable, long-term growth instead of providing a temporary fix to problems.
4. Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals
The aim of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to create a world where no one is left behind and everyone can live with dignity and opportunity. To fulfill this collective global promise by 2030, we must put a special focus on meeting the needs of people who have lost so much.
5. Adjusting to changing weather patterns
Prolonged drought, erratic rainfall and land degradation are posing challenges that have pushed people to the edge. Humanitarian organisations help nearly millions of people adapt to new agricultural practices and technologies to mitigate the devastating impact of drought and better withstand climate change.