Images: Guy Calaf and Lys Arango for Action Against Hunger
World Humanitarian Day 2017
Lives on the line: aid workers are #NOTATARGET
Aug 18 2017
Every year on 19th of August, the international community recognises World Humanitarian Day - a day to celebrate the hard work of aid workers everywhere, to remember the friends and colleagues our community has lost, to advocate for stronger protections and better and safer access to people in need, and to demand accountability and justice for violations of international humanitarian law.
In some of the world’s worst conflicts - including South Sudan, northeast Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan - aid workers cannot safely reach the communities most in need of humanitarian assistance, which is a violation of international humanitarian law. Many aid workers, civilians, and protected spaces like hospitals, displacement camps, and schools have been made targets of attack.
Worldwide, attacks against aid workers have tripled in the past ten years. In 2016 alone, statistics on major attacks against aid workers are alarming:
- Attacks against national aid workers in 2016 are almost triple the number of attacks against international humanitarian personnel, with 245 national victims and 43 international victims.
- In 2016, 158 major attacks against aid operations were documented, in which 288 aid workers were victims: 101 aid workers were killed, 98 were wounded, and 89 were kidnapped. This year, the global community is coming together for World Humanitarian Day to stand against attacks on aid workers and civilians: because the people who put their lives on the line to help those in need and the civilian men, women, and children who live in the midst of war and conflict are #NotATarget.
This year, the global community is coming together for World Humanitarian Day to stand against attacks on aid workers and civilians: because the people who put their lives on the line to help those in need and the civilian men, women and children who live in the midst of war and conflict are #NotATarget.
#NOTATARGET: PROTECTING CIVILIANS AND AID WORKERS
In South Sudan—one of the most dangerous places to be an aid worker—our humanitarian staff speak out. Below, members of our team working in Malualkon, Aweil East County, have all given their answer to the same question:
WHY DOES THE WORLD NEED HUMANITARIAN WORKERS?
"To fight malnutrition" - Angela Abuk Magok, Community mobiliser (left)
"To protect people" - Asunta Nyanut Garang, Community mobiliser (center left)
"To alleviate suffering" - Sebit Sebit Ahmed, Nutrition Program Manager (center right)
“To prevent diseases” - Adut Atak Bulo, Nutrition Health Promoter
"To make a positive change in people's lives" - Rebecca Arek Garang, Hygiene Promoter (left)
"To bring back peace" - Abuk Garang Wal, Hygiene Promoter
"To help the vulnerable communities" - Ngor John Ngor, Logistics Assistant (left)
“To implement the humanitarian assistance” - Dut Adong Longar, Logistics Aide (centre)
"To save lives" - Abe Chaplain Cosmas, Logistics Officer
"To build capacities at community level" - Peter Majok Yak, Stabilisation Center Nurse (left)
"To maintain human dignity during crisis" - Maria Apet Mayen, Stabilisation Center Nurse
"To help the ones that are most in need" - Anyama Richard, Stabilisation Center Nurse
We are proud of all our colleagues dedicating their lives to realising our vision of a world without child hunger. So often this work is accomplished in the face of harsh working conditions and frequently at great personal risk. As with our colleagues photographed here, we celebrate their commitment and compassion, their professionalism and pride in helping people in need. Most importantly, each day, we stand up to protect aid workers and call to end violence against civilians and aid workers. Aid workers and the civilians they support are #NOTATARGET.
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