WHD: Remember safety first during crisis – United Nations to Humanitarian workers

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Humanitarian workers, especially those at the frontline, have been reminded that their safety comes first even as they try to save and secure others in danger.

Mr Roufou Makou, Head of Field Office, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR), in Calabar gave the advice during the commemoration of this year’s World Humanitarian Day, marked every August 19 August.

WHD is a day to recognise humanitarian workers as well as those who lost their lives for humanitarian causes.

“As a humanitarian worker, it is important to always have a security pass before going for any assignments because life comes first and you have to be alive to help someone.

“While we honour all humanitarian workers, especially those who lost their lives or were injured in the courses of duty, I wish to advise all, that safety is paramount and should be properly considered before any assignments.

“Always think of your life first and not your property and it is also important to learn the language of the local environment you find yourselves in, as it is very essential in emergencies.”

Also speaking at the event in Calabar, the head of Office, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Ms Marija Rakovic said the theme; It Takes A Village, illustrates the importance of humanitarian work in the world.

She spoke through Dr. Aliyu Yakubu who is the Programme Specialist, Reproductive Health UNFPA.

“Just as it takes a village to raise a child, even so, it does take a whole community to help people in need.

“The WHD shines the light on hundreds of thousands of volunteers, professionals and crisis-affected people who deliver urgent services such as health-care, food, water, shelter and other services in humanitarian settings.”

She said 8.7 million people were in need of humanitarian aid in 2021 while 6.4 million were targeted for intervention, citing the Nigeria Humanitarian Plan 2021.

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