Caritas aid in warzones more difficult as world marks first humanitarian day
17 August 2009
Caritas Internationalis says that governments must honour their commitments to allow aid agencies access to vulnerable communities on the first World Humanitarian Day.
Established by the General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations in December 2008, 19 August is World Humanitarian Day. The designation of the Day is a way to increase public understanding of humanitarian assistance activities worldwide. It is in part dedicated to the memory of all those aid workers who have lost their lives while bringing assistance to others, the majority of them from the communities they are trying to help.
Caritas says its ability to bring support to the most vulnerable people in conflicts has been severely restricted by the actions of governments over the last 18 months.
Caritas Internationalis Humanitarian Director Alistair Dutton said, “From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, Georgia to Gaza, Sri Lanka to Sudan, we’re seeing the erosion of one of the central pillars of humanitarianism: Aid agencies must be allowed to reach the most vulnerable people in conflicts. Governments must use this first World Humanitarian Day to reassert their commitment to safeguarding this principle as part of their obligations under the Geneva Conventions.
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