Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, have today (19th August) paid tribute to aid workers and humanitarian efforts on World Humanitarian Day.
World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to recognise and commemorate the efforts of humanitarian workers around the world who face enormous risks every day to bring relief to people whose lives have been torn apart by war or natural disasters.
This year’s theme is “The World Needs More Humanitarian Heroes”.
Speaking today, Minister Flanagan said:
“This has already proven to be another difficult and challenging year on the humanitarian front. Just last week, the UN raised the crisis in Iraq to a Level 3 emergency, the highest ranking for a humanitarian crisis which is already in place for Syria, South Sudan and Central African Republic.
“The international community is also grappling with the impact of the recent conflict in Gaza as well as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
“Ireland is playing its part to confront these issues head on. So far in 2014 we have provided more than €24 million to these most urgent crises”
The recent tragic deaths of aid workers in Gaza and South Sudan are a stark illustration of the daily threats faced by those delivering humanitarian assistance in places torn apart by conflict.
Minister Sherlock today paid tribute to Irish and international aid workers around the world, saying:
“Violence continues to exact a heavy toll on humanitarian personnel. I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences on behalf of the Irish people to the families, friends, and colleagues of the 54 humanitarian aid workers killed so far in 2014, and the 155 killed in 2013.
“World Humanitarian Day provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the incredible humanitarian work that thousands of people around the world are doing every day, including Irish humanitarian workers.
“Ireland condemns in the strongest possible terms all attacks on aid workers as they seek to deliver urgent assistance to populations affected by humanitarian crisis, and calls for unhindered access to affected areas where they carry out their lifesaving work.”