NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2018 /CNW/ - "Today as we mark World Humanitarian Day, we pause to recognise the dedication and courage of our colleagues around the world, honour our colleagues who have lost their lives in the course of their work, and reavow our commitment to the many millions of children and young people in need of support and protection.
"It has now been 15 years since the Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, when 22 people were killed, including our UNICEF colleague Chris Klein-Beekman and the United Nations envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.
"The attack shocked the world, but as humanitarian crises have increased in both frequency and complexity, so, too, has the risk to humanitarian workers – and the death toll among them has risen accordingly.
"The work of our humanitarian colleagues, providing assistance and hope to the millions of people around the world affected by conflict and disaster, is nothing short of heroic. Too often this work is taken for granted. World Humanitarian Day reminds us of their bravery, dedication and sacrifice, as I have witnessed when visiting countries such as Yemen and South Sudan, one of the most dangerous countries for humanitarian workers, and where just last month a UNICEF humanitarian convoy came under attack, with fatal consequences.
"Today, we mourn their deaths and celebrate their devotion. Yet we must do more than pay tribute to our colleagues and friends. We must demand protection wherever possible for those who serve to protect the lives of others, and for those most in need of that protection - the world's children.
"On World Humanitarian Day, we should be reminded of the reason that we, as individuals and as an organisation, do this work. We must recognise and reflect on the suffering of the millions of people – the millions of children - affected by conflict, disaster and poverty around the world.
"As we honour the dedication of the brave women and men who continue to do their jobs every day despite the dangers – let us be reminded of our common cause: working for every child. We work to save their lives. To defend their rights. To keep them safe from harm. To give them a childhood in which they're protected, healthy and educated. To give them a fair chance to fulfil their potential — so that someday, they can help build a better world."
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca. For updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit unicef.ca.
SOURCE UNICEF Canada
For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Stefanie Carmichael, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8866, [email protected]