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UN honours sacrifices, celebrates spirit of aid workers

Aug 20, 2014

The research shows that in 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 were seriously wounded and 134 were kidnapped.

United Nations: The United Nations is marking World Humanitarian Day on August 19 by paying tribute to aid workers who carry out life-saving activities around the world, often in dangerous and difficult circumstances, while celebrating the spirit of humanitarian work worldwide.

“On World Humanitarian Day, we honour the heroic aid workers who rush bravely to help people in need. We remember their sacrifices, and we recognize the millions of people who count on humanitarian workers for their very survival,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day.

The Day is observed annually on August 19, the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad that killed 22 people, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello. Among today’s events is a wreath-laying ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York to honour aid workers killed in the line of duty.

This year’s observance comes at a time when the number of aid workers killed, kidnapped and seriously wounded has reached the highest number ever recorded, according to new figures published today by the United Kingdom-based organization known as Humanitarian Outcomes.

The research shows that in 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 were seriously wounded and 134 were kidnapped. Overall this represents a 66 per cent increase in the number of victims from the previous year. With 81 aid workers killed in 2013, Afghanistan is still the country with the highest number of attacks.

Preliminary figures show that as of 15 August 2014, 79 aid workers have been killed this year alone. The months of July and August saw a rise in the level of attacks and incidents involving aid workers including in Gaza and South Sudan.

SOURCE: UN News Service

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