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More than 140 aid workers killed in 2021 as crises soar worldwide

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In honor of individuals who dedicate their lives to helping others, the international aid community launched the #ItTakesAVillage campaign ahead of World Humanitarian Day. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), ahead of this year’s World Humanitarian Day, more than 460 humanitarian workers were attacked last year. More than 140 relief workers perished in these attacks, according to data from Humanitarian Outcomes, which is a record high since 2013. Only two were foreigners, illustrating the dangers that foreign aid workers frequently encounter. The same time frame saw 117 kidnappings and 203 injuries to humanitarian workers.

According to Humanitarian Outcomes, 168 attacks against aid workers have taken place so far this year, resulting in 44 fatalities. According to UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths, humanitarian needs are at an all-time high, and relief workers are working in ever more perilous circumstances. We honor all humanitarian workers who frequently work in hazardous conditions to assist people in need on World Humanitarian Day and remember those who have died while performing their duties.

OCHA launched a one-week campaign to recognize humanitarian workers in honor of the occasion. The campaign, with the hashtag #ItTakesAVillage, emphasizes how humanitarian workers collaborate to help those in dire need. Similar to the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” Mr. Griffiths continued, “it takes a ‘village’ of humanitarians working with affected areas to deliver help and hope to people caught up in crises.” This year’s World Humanitarian Day “builds on this metaphor of collaborative endeavor” and calls on people all across the world to express their gratitude to those who perform humanitarian work, no matter who they are.

The public is encouraged to use every opportunity to demonstrate support for those who require assistance and gratitude for those who work to provide it by following #ItTakesAVillage on social media, sharing, liking, and commenting on the posting.

About World Humanitarian Day

The date of World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is August 19 each year. The UN General Assembly named it in 2008 to mark the anniversary of the 2003 attack on the UN building in Baghdad, Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of 22 aid workers. WHD has changed over time to emphasize various facets of humanitarian action, mobilizing supporters from around the globe to promote the larger humanitarian cause.

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