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A day to recognize humanitarians’ dedication to the Somali people

Mareeg .com-World Humanitarian Day falls exactly two months after attack on UN compound

Mogadishu (19 August 2013) – World Humanitarian Day is marked each year on 19
August. The United Nations General Assembly designated the day to acknowledge
humanitarians’ unwavering dedication and aid workers who lost their lives while
working to help people in need. “This year, World Humanitarian Day falls exactly two
months after the deadly attack on the United Nations Common Compound in Mogadishu.
We remember our colleagues and friends who were killed in that horrific attack. They
are all deeply missed,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Philippe
Lazzarini.

The humanitarian situation in Somalia has continued to improve gradually since the
famine in 2011, largely due to the delivery of assistance and consecutive good
rains. The gains are fragile, however, and the magnitude of the crisis remains
enormous. “Over 2.7 million people are still in need of life-saving assistance and
support to build up their livelihoods. We are redoubling efforts to invest in
Somalia’s people and communities to break the cycle of crisis and response,”
Lazzarini said.

Since the last World Humanitarian Day, 15 national and international aid workers
have been killed in Somalia. “Somalia is one of the most difficult and dangerous
environments in the world for aid workers. It is Somalia’s civilians who bear the
brunt of the conflict. Far too many innocent Somalis suffer, especially women and
children,” Lazzarini said.

“Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières terminated all of its medical humanitarian
programmes in Somalia, citing extreme attacks on its staff and an environment where
armed groups and civilian leaders increasingly support, tolerate or condone the
killing and assault of aid workers,” he said.

“As we mark World Humanitarian Day in Somalia this year, and pay tribute to our
fallen colleagues, I want to stress that the targeting of humanitarian aid workers
and tolerance of such abuses cannot be accepted. Somali and international
humanitarian workers provide a vital lifeline in health, nutrition, education, food
assistance, livelihoods support, protection, water sanitation and hygiene. Without
continued humanitarian assistance, those Somalis most in need will suffer,”
Lazzarini said.

On Monday, 19 August, the Humanitarian Coordinator will answer questions on the
humanitarian situation in English or Somali through his Twitter account:
@UNLazzarini

About World Humanitarian Day To mark World Humanitarian Day this year, the Office
for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has organized a global campaign,
highlighting that the world needs more humanity. This year marks 10 years since the
United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was bombed and 22 UN staff were killed on 19
August 2003, including the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to
Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello. For more information about the campaign, go to:
www.worldhumanitarianday.org (http://www.worldhumanitarianday.org/) .

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