UN: more than 140 aid workers killed in 2021 as crises soar worldwide

Last year more than 460 aid workers were victims of attacks, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today, ahead of this year’s World Humanitarian Day (19 August)

According to data from Humanitarian Outcomes, more than 140 aid workers were killed in these attacks – the highest number of aid worker fatalities since 2013

All but two were national staff, highlighting the perils that national aid workers often face. During the same period,  203 aid workers were injured and 117 were kidnapped.

So far this year, 168 aid workers have been attacked, leading to 44 fatalities, according to Humanitarian Outcomes

“Humanitarian needs are at an all-time high, and aid workers are working in ever more dangerous environments,” said Martin Griffiths, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

“As we celebrate World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to all humanitarian workers who often work in dangerous conditions to help others in need, and we commemorate those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”

To mark the day, OCHA today launches a one-week campaign to honour humanitarian workers

Under the theme #ItTakesAVillage, the campaign focuses on how aid workers come together in a collective effort to alleviate extreme need.

“Just like the saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ it takes a ‘village’ of humanitarians working with affected communities to bring help and hope to people caught up in crises,” added Mr. Griffiths.

“This year’s World Humanitarian Day builds on this metaphor of collective endeavour and asks people everywhere to show appreciation for humanitarian work, whoever carries it out.”

The public are invited to follow #ItTakesAVillage on social media, to share, like and comment on the posting, and to use every occasion to show solidarity with people who need aid and appreciation for those who work to deliver it.

About World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day (WHD) takes place every year on 19 August. It was designated by the UN General Assembly in 2008 to commemorate the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed 22 aid workers.

WHD has evolved to highlight different aspects of humanitarian action, mobilizing people from around the world to advocate for the broader humanitarian cause.

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