The United Nations has mourned the loss of more than 140 aid workers killed in 2021 as crises soar around the world.
In a statement on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day (19 August), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that over the past year, more than 460 aid workers have been victims of attacks.
Citing data from Humanitarian Outcomes, the UN agency said more than 140 aid workers were killed in the attacks, the highest number since 2013. All but two were national staff, highlighting the perils facing domestic aid workers often face, OCHA noted.
During the same period, 203 aid workers were injured and 117 were kidnapped, the same source said, adding that so far this year, 44 aid workers have been killed.
“Humanitarian needs have never been higher and aid workers are working in increasingly dangerous environments,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths. in the press release.
“As we mark World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to all aid workers who often work in dangerous conditions to help those in need, as well as to the memory of those who have lost their lives. in the performance of their duties,” he continued.
To mark Humanitarian Aid Day, OCHA on Friday launched a week-long campaign to honor aid workers. Under the theme #ItTakesAVillage, the campaign focuses on how aid workers come together in a collective effort to alleviate dire needs.