…lauds sacrifice of humanitarian workers
The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has called for global action to halt attacks on humanitarian workers delivering aids to victims of conflicts across the world.
Obaseki who gave the charge in Benin City, in commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day, marked on August 19 each year, decried the growing disregard for international conventions and rules of engagements that protect women, children, civilians and aid workers by parties to conflicts.
“The scale of attacks on humanitarian workers is disheartening. Leaders across the world and development actors must rise to the occasion to defend individuals and groups who volunteer their skills, expertise and other resources to support vulnerable groups in the theatres of war and conflicts,” the governor said.
He averred that “new thoughts and attitudes are needed by all stakeholders towards commitments to globally agreed upon rules on the use of force, its degree, on whom, in what circumstance, amongst other considerations, as encapsulated in the Rule of Engagement card.”
Obaseki saluted aid workers’ contributions to the good of society and declared that “to protect those who are protecting others, is the least we can all do, as leaders.”
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, notes that “Around the world, conflict is forcing record numbers of people from their homes, with over 65 million people now displaced. Children are recruited by armed groups and used to fight. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid and medical workers provide for those in need, they are all too often targeted or treated as threats.”
The 2018 celebration is being driven with a #NotATarget campaign, to bring attention to the millions of civilians affected by armed conflict every day and demand world leaders to do everything in their power to protect civilians in conflict.
According to the UN, “People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water, and safe shelter, while fighting drives millions from their homes. Children are recruited and used to fight, and their schools are destroyed. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid, and medical workers treat the wounded and sick, they are directly targeted, treated as threats, and prevented from bringing relief and care to those in desperate need.”
World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world, the global body said.