Today, on World Humanitarian Day, Kuwait joins the global campaign to honour humanitarians across the world who are going to extraordinary lengths in extraordinary times to help women, men and children whose lives are upended by crises and the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The dedication, perseverance and self-sacrifice of these real-life heroes reflect the best of humanity as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the massive increase in humanitarian needs it has triggered. They include women and men from governmental organisations, civil societies, and volunteers in the community.
First responders are being tested like never before. These unsung heroes bring food, shelter, health care, protection and hope to millions around the world in need. The State of Kuwait’s solidarity with the international humanitarian community has further been emphasized through its contribution towards the COVID-19 response, of which partially allocated to the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, and Pakistan. Additional solidarity has also been given with Kuwait’s pledge to support humanitarian response efforts to the tragic events that shook Lebanon on 4 August.
The country was quick to respond through the creation of air bridges created to deliver daily emergency aid through the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, with NGOs and volunteers participating in helping the victims of this tragedy.
This is the eleventh World Humanitarian Day, designated by the UN General Assembly. It falls on the day of the attack on the UN compound in Baghdad on 19 August 2003, which claimed the lives of 22 people including the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Since then, nearly 5,000 humanitarians have been killed, wounded or abducted, and the 2010-2019 decade experienced a 117 per cent increase in attacks compared to 2000-2009.
Dr. Samer Haddadin, UNRC a.i and Head of UNHCR Kuwait Office noted that “One of the purposes of the United Nations, as stated in its Charter, is to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character. On this day, we pay tribute to all Humanitarian workers around the globe who are sparing no efforts and risking their lives in order to provide help and aid to the people in need. 2019 was the most dangerous year for aid workers to date: the world witnessed the highest number of major attacks against humanitarians, with 483 aid workers were attacked, 125 killed, 234 wounded and 124 kidnapped in a total of 277 separate incidents.
H.E Nasser Muhareb Al-Hain – Assistant Foreign Minister for International Organizations noted that ‘ On this Occasion of World Humanitarian Day, we remember the historic role of the unknown soldiers who have been tirelessly working for each human. We salute them, we appreciate them, and we acknowledge their incredibly important sacrifice and their support to others. Additionally, we are very proud of the blessed efforts of the humanitarian country, under the leadership of his Royal Highness Sheikh Sabah Alahmad Aljaber Alsabah. May Allah protect him and guard him and heal him, and return him to us in good health.”
“While the entire world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, today we pay tribute to the efforts of all humanitarians around the world. I herby, call for their protection and providing them with safe working environment. I admire and appreciate the Kuwait’s efforts and contributions to this end on this occasion,” Iyad NasrIyad Nasr, Head of the Regional Office for UN OCHA for the Middle East and North Africa (ROMENA) in Cairo, said.
This year’s World Humanitarian Day comes as the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic. To pay tribute to the efforts of humanitarians, there is a call for the local communities in participating in the campaign by giving thanks to those who have helped.