As the world braces for stronger disasters and adverse impacts of climate change, how do we ensure the welfare of humanitarian workers and responders? How do we ensure the flow of humanitarian aid to help survivors of calamities and conflicts?
These were the questions that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), and other humanitarian groups posed on Wednesday, August 19, during the celebration of World Humanitarian Day 2015.
For UN OCHA Associate Humanitarian Affairs Officer Madoka Koide, the Philippines is an “inspiring source for other countries.” Koide cited the spirit of volunteerism which seemed to be prevalent among Filipinos especially in times of disasters. “In this country, you don’t have to actually be a humanitarian, (as) there are people who actually help,” he said.
Koide also highlighted the importance of the everyday work of humanitarian workers. “Many humanitarian workers have sacrifice time, many of them sacrifice proximity with their families. Many of them have also sacrificed their lives.”
Koide emphasized that the celebration is a prelude to the World Humanitarian Summit happening in May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey.