In Yemen, humanitarian workers save lives every day
The humanitarian community in Yemen joined the world in commemorating World Humanitarian Day (WHD). Each year, the United Nations and aid agencies mark World Humanitarian Day on 19 August to advocate for the survival, well-being, and dignity of people affected by crises, and for the safety and security of aid workers.
For the first time in many years, a local partner in collaboration with OCHA organized a WHD event in Ma′rib Governorate which was attended by local authorities and local and international aid agencies. The authorities as well as humanitarian partners highlighted the importance of the day and appreciated the important role of aid workers in the governorate. Another event was also organized by a local partner in Ta′iz Governorate with participation from local authorities and support from OCHA .
Aid workers in Yemen – more than 95 per cent of whom are Yemenis – ensure that 11.6 million people on average receive humanitarian assistance or protection support every month. But they operate in an extremely challenging environment. They are often subjected to threats to their safety and wellbeing, even as they work to save lives and reduce suffering daily.
In recent months, aid workers have been targets of disinformation and incitement, including false allegations that they corrupt Yemeni values, including the morals of young women. Such baseless allegations jeopardize the safety and security of humanitarian workers, especially Yemeni female aid workers at a time when women and girls are experiencing increased levels of violence and a rollback of their rights in many parts of the globe.
In a statement to mark the day, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, David Gressly, noted, “Violence and threats against humanitarian workers undermine the delivery of aid, further jeopardizing the lives of those most in need. ” He added that; “Aid workers in Yemen deserve to be celebrated for their selfless dedication.”
“Aid workers in Yemen remain unwavering in their mission. These selfless women and men continue to step up every day, providing millions of people in need with food and cash, health services and clean water, protection and emergency education,” Mr. Gressly said. “We should all do everything we can to protect them and support their critical work.”