World Humanitarian Day 2020: A tribute to aid workers on the front lines

Amid a global pandemic and unprecedented needs, aid workers and health-care responders are staying and delivering to the world’s most vulnerable people.

Today, World Humanitarian Day, the world honours all humanitarians – many working in their own communities – who are going to extraordinary lengths in extraordinary times to help women, men and children whose lives are upended by crises and the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The dedication, perseverance and self-sacrifice of these real-life heroes represent the best of humanity as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the massive increase in humanitarian needs it has triggered.

First responders are often people in need themselves — refugees, members of civil-society organizations and local health workers. They bring food, shelter, health care, protection and hope to others amid conflict, displacement, disaster and disease.

But humanitarian workers are being tested like never before, struggling with unprecedented movement restrictions and insufficient resources as needs are outpacing funds.

And all too often, they risk their own lives to save the lives of others.

Dr. Catherine Sozi, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, said, “We, the United Nations and NGO partners, will continue to stand by the Government and people of Ethiopia to face this new common threat, and to ensure that the most vulnerable continue to receive timely food, nutrition, health, protection, shelter and other humanitarian assistances.”

She also pays tribute to millions of humanitarian workers and front-line workers who are doing extraordinary deeds to help people affected by COVID-19 and other humanitarian calamities.

“Members of communities, IDPs and refugees are also doing their part in helping others; even if they are often themselves in need of assistance,” said Dr. Catherine.

“Today we pay tribute to these RealLifeHeroes. Our true, often unsung, heroes!”

UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs