“Against incredible odds, often at great personal risk, they ease suffering in some of the most dangerous circumstances imaginable.” World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to celebrate humanitarians everywhere, said Mr. Guterres.
‘It takes a village’
People like Shakila Parvin, a UNFPA-trained midwife serving Rohingya refugees in camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, are the backbone of its humanitarian work.
The number of people who need humanitarian assistance has never been higher, due to conflicts, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty, hunger and unprecedented levels of displacement.
This year’s theme – It takes a village – highlights the fact that whenever and wherever people are in crisis, there are others who will help them.
OCHA reported that last year, nearly 110 million children in emergency settings were able to access formal or non-formal education, including early learning.
“We salute their dedication and courage, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives in pursuit of this noble cause. They represent the best of humanity.”
As part of the commemorations, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, launched a week-long social media campaign, #ItTakesAVillage, for the public to show solidarity with people who need aid, and appreciation for those who work to deliver it.
Solidarity and appreciation
“Far from the spotlight and out of the headlines, humanitarians work around the clock to make our world a better place,” he said.
“By ensuring these services I can contribute to reducing maternal and child mortality rates, which is one of the most fulfilling parts of my job,” Ms. Parvin said recently. “When I see a mother’s happiness at her healthy baby, my life feels meaningful.”
Humanitarians include teachers, who serve as a lifeline for children caught in crisis. They help boys and girls to continue learning so they do not lose out on their future.
“And it includes hundreds of thousands of individual humanitarians — volunteers and professionals alike. Delivering health care and education. Food and water. Shelter and protection. Help and hope”.
Women and girls first
Meanwhile, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is working to make sure emergency response prioritizes women and girls’ needs, rights and dignity.
Teachers also offer psychosocial support, especially to girls, children with disabilities, and youngsters who have been displaced, such as migrants and refugees, or those uprooted within their own countries.
This year, the agency aims to reach 54.5 million women, girls and young people affected by crisis with lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare, information and supplies, among other services.
She has provided obstetric care so that mothers can deliver their babies safely, even in the midst of major flooding brought on by monsoon rains.