Saturday, August 19, 2017

World Humanitarian Day

Copyright© Françoise Herrmann

On May 19, World Humanitarian Day (WHD), the UN celebrates the millions of people whose lives are shattered by conflict and disasters, as well as the humanitarian aid workers who are increasingly targeted in action.

The UN resolution, designating the date of Aug. 19 as WHD, also commemorates the terrorist attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad on Aug. 19, 2003, where the Special Representative, and former UN High Commissioner for Human rights, was killed.  

The theme for WHD 2017 is the hashtag campaign #NotAtarget. The #NotATarget campaign specifically stands up for the protection of civilians, civilian infrastructures, patients, patient facilities, medical staff and medical facilities in conflict areas. Indeed, on the occasion of WHD 2017, the UN Secretary General stated: “We are here to tell the world that: Civilians in conflict are not a target.” [UN Secretary-General, Aug. 18, 2017] 

 The reported #NotATarget toll for 2017 (Jan-March) is 88 attacks, 80 deaths, and 81 injuries. On October 3, 2015, the Medecins sans frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Kunduz Trauma Center in Afghanistan was destroyed following a US airstrike, killing 42 people (24 patients, 14 staff, and 4 patient caregivers), even though the coordinates of the facility were known.

UN World Humanitarian Day
UN - Greening the Blue – World Humanitarian Day
UN – WHO – World Humanitarian Day
UN- WHO Attacks on Health Care Dashboard
UN-WHO  Report on Attacks on Health Care in Emergencies (2014-2015)
UN- Secretary General Remarks on the occasion of WHD 2017
UN- World Humanitarian Day
Médecins sans frontières - #NotATarget Campaign

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