World Vision International
Press Release • Thursday, August 17th 2017

Humanitarians and civilians in dangerous conflict zones are #NotATarget

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“It is repugnant that humanitarians and civilians, including children, are deliberately and increasingly targeted in conflict,” said World Vision International President Kevin Jenkins. He added, “World Vision stands united with others in demanding that world leaders do everything possible to ensure that these innocents are #NotATarget .”

On World Humanitarian Day on the 19th of August, as we pay tribute to the courage and commitment of aid workers we also call for an end to violence against children and the intentional destruction of medical and education facilities.

The past two decades in history saw humanitarians face tremendous risks to save lives from the world’s most dangerous conflicts. Over 4,000 aid workers were reported to have been victims of attacks while doing their jobs. World Vision has humanitarian operations in four of the five conflict-ridden countries identified where these brutal attacks happened: Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

This month, Uganda has marked that one million South Sudanese refugees have crossed the border fleeing from violence in their country. Let us not forget that an estimated 60 percent of these refugees are children. A report highlights how South Sudan has overtaken Afghanistan in terms of the rising threats against aid workers and civilians.

The Aid Worker Security Database that documents these violent attacks on humanitarians also underscored the rising trend on threats and attacks against aid operations. The report is staggering and should merit an outrage from the global community. In 2015 alone, “287 aid workers were victims of major attacks, 109 killed, 110 wounded and 68 survived kidnapping.

The UN Report in 2016 has documented attacks on over 4,000 humanitarians the past two decades: 159 major attacks against aid operations that affected 268 aid workers in 21 countries. Every month in 2016, on average more than six humanitarian workers were kidnapped; more than seven were killed and more than eight were wounded. Almost three times as many aid workers were kidnapped in 2016 as in 1997, while more than twice as many were killed.

World Humanitarian Day marks the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, when 22 humanitarian workers were killed.

Please sign the petition in support of humanitarian workers and people living in conflict zones here: http://worldhumanitarianday.org/en  

For media interviews and resources, please contact Tanya Penny-Ali (email: tanya_penny@wvi.org mobile: +971 505505803 (Dubai) or Cecil Laguardia: cecil_laguardia@wvi.org  mobile: +639399262669 (Philippines).