The National, Thursday 23rd August, 2012
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
RECOGNISING humanitarian work in every country sets precedence for a safe and better world for all people, the United Nations said in a statement.
It said that while humanitarian workers were helping afflicted people of wars and natural disasters, their lives and security were at risk of violence and attacks, “thus impeding access to help those in desperate need”.
“In several countries, conflict and insecurity not only threaten the lives of humanitarian workers, particularly
local aid workers, but prevent them from safely reaching those who are the most vulnerable,” the statement said.
“Lack of safe access is a major obstacle to humanitarian organisations carrying out
“In times of conflict, children and families cannot access the humanitarian assistance and basic social services like vaccines, health care, clean water and sanitation that they desperately need.
“Consequently, they suffer a double injustice as thousands of children’s lives are lost and countless more suffer unnecessarily every year,” the statement said.
This call was boosted last Sunday when World Humanitarian day was observed around the world as a commemoration to those humanitarian workers who died on duty.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last Sunday:
“This year’s World Humanitarian Day presents an historic opportunity to bring together one billion people from around the world to advance a powerful and proactive idea – people helping people.
“That is the best way to honour the many fallen aid workers we mourn today, and to celebrate the efforts of others who carry on their noble mission by rushing to assist those who are suffering.
“The spirit of solidarity that animates these courageous efforts drives our commemoration of World Humanitarian day.”
In a report, unicef said about 112 humanitarian workers had been killed in incidents of violence.
Unicef is now calling on all parties in conflicts around the world to allow safe and unimpeded access of humanitarian workers to reach children and
women in need.