By Ellie King
Our world is facing some of the worst crises’ from natural disasters to terrorist attacks, which have cost the lives of civilians from all over the world. That is why it is significant to honour the Humanitarian aid workers that have risked their lives to help others during the most critical and dangerous points of their lives.
Majority of the people the humanitarian workers tend to are children, and despite the constant threats to these children’s lives, aid workers dedicate their time to provide food, water, medicine and safety to allow them to thrive as much as possible during wartime.
As families suffer from malnutrition and disease, their children’s safety is put at risk in places that should be havens for safety, such as schools and hospitals. It is a devastating occurrence and sadly the reality for too many.
VIBE105 reflects on THREE of the most influential and successful ways humanitarian aid workers have helped others during times of war.
Yemen is facing what’s considered the “worst humanitarian crisis of our time”, with 80% of the population requiring some form of aid. Around 24 million people do not have secure aid from fresh water, food and medicine all while also living in deteriorating infrastructures. Humanitarian aid workers work tirelessly to provide aid to the Yemeni people, however there are obstacles at every turn. It is impossible to transport aid in the areas where there is fighting, therefore workers are limited to a few access ports which are often too congested.
The civil war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen has gone on for three long years, and continues to worsen with rife corruption and the constant threats against the lives of aid workers. As aid workers try to help children and families on the ground, they face threats of attack by rebels daily as a form of intimidation.
Despite this, aid workers have treated over 100,000 children from disease and malnutrition and continue to operate health services, food and shelter for those in jeopardy every single day.
The people of South Sudan have had their lives at risk as their country falls into another year of civil war. After South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, conflict between government and opposition/ rebel forces began. South Sudan has also been ranked as the most dangerous place for humanitarian workers, with 24 aid workers victim to shootings in 2017 and increased kidnappings of workers in the country.
Civilians and civilian workers continue to face attacks, from their villages being completely destroyed to rape being used as a weapon against women and girls. Both rebel and government forces are committing these atrocities against their own people of South Sudan, forcing civilians out of school, health clinics and their homes to be refugees in Uganda.
As war wages on, Save The Children humanitarian workers have continued to provide aid to civilians with 91 health centers in South Sudan and 104 food programs for children.
It’s been almost eight years since the “Arab Spring”, which was supposed to be a peaceful protest for democracy and resulted in government forces violently attacking and killing its own citizens. What ensued was a massive civil war between the government and rebel forces that wanted the government removed.
The substantial need for aid from humanitarian workers has been consistently under threat from shooting attacks on the ground to shelling and air strikes overhead. If that wasn’t enough, aid workers face threats of violence and intimidation which halts them from saving civilians in Syria.
Over 13 million people need aid and assistance in Syria, with humanitarian workers working day and night to provide it to them despite immediate risk. UN aid workers were able to carry out their biggest aid delivery in Syria this past February, reaching the remote site of Rukban with more than 100 relief supplies and 300 aid workers.
The great deal of need and importance for humanitarian workers will not go unnoticed now or ever.
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