WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY: REAL LIFE HEROES
Written by City Radio on August 19, 2022
Every day, humanitarian aid workers stand on the frontlines of war and disaster, having tremendous dangers and difficulties to deliver assistance to those who need it most. World Humanitarian Day which takes place every year on 19th August, recognizes the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian action.
The day was designated by the General Assembly nine years ago to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq which resulted in the death of 22 persons, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.
The theme for 2022 celebration is REAL LIFE HEROES. Under the overarching theme, humanitarian partners are coming together to reaffirms that civilians caught in conflict are Real Life Heroes. Through a global online campaign, together with events held around the world, voices are raised to advocate for those most vulnerable in war zones, and demand that world leaders do everything within their powers to protect civilians in conflicts.
This campaign follows on the UN Secretary-General’s report on protection of civilians, which was launched earlier this year. Laying out his ‘path to protection’, the Secretary-General calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, and protection of civilian’s infrastructure.
Around the world, conflict is exacting a massive toll on people’s lives. Trapped in conflicts that are not of their making, millions of civilians are forced to hide or run for their lives. Children are taken out of school, families are displaced from their homes, and communities are torn apart, while the world is not doing enough to stop their suffering. At the same time, health and aid workers who risk their lives to care for people affected by violence are increasingly being targeted.
Everyone can be a humanitarian. People affected by disasters are often the first to help their own communities following a disaster. Responding to emergencies is only one aspect of humanitarian work. Humanitarian workers also support communities to rebuild their lives after disasters, to become more resilient to future crises, to advocate for their voices to be heard, and to build lasting and sustainable peace in areas of conflict.
To mark World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations has called on governments and other bodies across the globe to embark on a concerted programme aimed at mitigating the effect of violence, regarded as one of the newest threats to the continuous existence of human being sequel to World Health Organization, WHO’s report titled: “Violence, Our Concern”, which says that violence accounts for over 1.6 million deaths per year in every corner of the global, including Nigeria.
Protecting the Civil Populace is becoming more difficult in a world where crises are increasing in complexity and magnitude. The humanitarian system faces unprecedented strain, with four “level 3” emergencies the UN’s highest classification for a humanitarian crisis in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria. Violence and insecurity in these countries are causing massive internal and cross-border displacements, and aid workers are saving lives at great risk to their own. In just over a decade, the number of people in need of humanitarian aid has more than doubled.
Following the extremely difficult situations of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) mostly in the North East and North Central of Nigeria and other theatres of war and internal conflicts within the country, every humanitarian is called upon to rapidly respond in one way or the other to cushion the effect of excruciating hardship, severe malnutrition, health hazards and psychological problem of displacement and vagaries of harsh weather, contaminations and terrorists invasions.
It is most auspicious to use the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) to call on every person to eschew any act that will cause violence and lead to the death of defenseless civilians.