Each year we mark 19th August as World Humanitarian Day to pay tribute to humanitarian workers who risk-and often lose-their lives in service of others, as well as to garner support for those affected by crises taking place around the world.
This year the focus is conflicts and the effects they have on the lives of millions across the world as they flare up and continue to rage on and cause destruction and chaos. Caught in conflicts which they are powerless to prevent and protect themselves from, civilians often pay the heaviest toll as they are forced to suffer abject poverty, starvation, vulnerability to illness, displacement, abuse, trafficking, trauma, injury and death. Often international laws are disregarded and civilians and civilian infrastructure are deliberately targeted which are particularly devastating and result in large-scale suffering, as we continue to see in the Gaza Strip for instance.
Palestinians have long-suffered the effects of a 69 year conflict, in which civilians are not only targeted by military operations but through a system of humiliation, abuse and the denial of basic human rights. Since the beginning of 2017 alone, 12 Palestinians died due to being prevented access to the medical care they needed.
This year the day will focus on a campaign to raise awareness of these issues and to ask the international community to do more to protect innocent civilians caught in conflict areas.
As a humanitarian NGO, we ask the international community to do more to protect civilians and to ensure that actors in conflicts abide by international laws which protect civilians from suffering and loss of life.
You can get involved by signing the petition here: http://worldhumanitarianday.org/en
Get involved on social media by using the hashtag #NotATarget