‘Aid workers on the front lines of conflict’: UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan
United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Marta Ruedas, has highlighted the importance of aid workers in a statement an address to mark World Humanitarian Day 2016.
She says that every day, humanitarian aid workers stand on the front lines of conflict and disaster around the world, braving danger and difficulty to deliver assistance to those who need it most.
“World Humanitarian Day, which takes place every year on the 19th of August, pays tribute to the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and mobilises people to advocate for humanitarian action.
“This World Humanitarian Day, the UN and its partners are calling for global solidarity with the more than 130 million people around the world who need humanitarian assistance to survive.
“Under the theme of ‘One Humanity’, we – as a global community - are highlighting how the world came together in May at the World Humanitarian Summit, which I had the honour of attending. At the summit – the first of its kind – we made strong and enduring commitments to support people affected by crisis and ensure that aid workers can safely and more effectively deliver to those in need.
“In collaboration with national partners, last year 3.3 million people across Sudan received humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, clean water, healthcare and education. This assistance was delivered by over 8,000 aid workers, over 98 percent of whom are Sudanese.
“This year even more people have been targeted for humanitarian assistance. This includes internally displaced people and also 700,000 refugees, asylum seekers and other people of concern who are being generously hosted by Sudan, in addition to 70,000 new refugees from South Sudan this year alone.
“Others targeted for humanitarian assistance this year have lost their livelihoods – and became food insecure - as a result of El Nino, and floods have affected over 120,000 people since early June and destroyed thousands of homes.
“To meet humanitarian need in Sudan, the United Nations and aid organizations have contributed almost 11 billion US dollars since 2003, including more than 600 million US dollars last year and 250 million US dollars to date this year.
“On this World Humanitarian Day, I would like to remind everyone that every day, thousands of humanitarian workers provide aid to people in need – regardless of race, religion and politics – inspired by a common sense of humanity.”
“On this World Humanitarian Day, I would like to remind everyone that every day, thousands of humanitarian workers provide aid to people in need – regardless of race, religion and politics – inspired by a common sense of humanity. These aid workers take huge risks and make great sacrifices to help others.
“And let us not forget that humanitarian work is not only carried out by those who work for national or international aid organizations. It is the ordinary Sudanese people themselves and the local communities who often provide shelter, food and protection to thousands of their fellow men and women who are forced to flee their homes.
“World Humanitarian Day is a day on which we express our determination not just to empathise with those in need but to engage. Today I should like to reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations and partners to unite our strength to fulfil our shared humanitarian and moral obligation.
“Let us work to make Sudan a better place for all. I thank all our humanitarian partners, including the Government of Sudan, UN agencies, NGOs, donors and member states for your commitment, engagement and support. I should particularly like to extend my thanks to the people of Sudan, for their innate humanity which manifests itself on a daily basis towards their countrymen and to their neighbours in need,” her statement concludes.
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