World Humanitarian Day is celebrated annually on August 19. The day recognizes and applauds the ways in which humanitarian workers mobilize to help others the world over. According to the UN, ‘’this day was recognized after 22 humanitarian workers lost their lives following the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.
The UN and its humanitarian partners will launch this year’s campaign theme called ‘The World Needs More’……
Every year, disasters cause immense suffering for millions of people across the world; many of whom are usually the world’s poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable population. Additionally, thousands of people are given life-saving assistance in the wake of these disasters.
In Kenya, Islamic Relief, an international humanitarian NGO has been working in North Eastern Kenya a remote county that lacks basic socio-economic infrastructures such as road network, health and education facilities. The region is cyclically hit by natural disasters such as droughts and flash floods which are exacerbated by effects of climate change, which result to Severe Acute Malnutrition and high Global Acute Malnutrition levels. The region experiences inter-clan conflicts over dwindling natural resources (water and pasture) and insecurity, caused by the porous borders; Somalia and Ethiopia. In this quest, Islamic Relief addresses the health needs of the most vulnerable to save lives minimize suffering and provide the needed health care service to these conflict-affected communities.
Be as it may, conflict situations and the increase of natural disasters will continue to create emergencies that require humanitarian action. It is therefore our role as humanitarian workers to ensure communities have strategies as well as tools to stop these crises from becoming large disasters. Through Islamic Relief’s transformative work in Kenya, communities are starting to achieve this. Communities are now more resilient to drought. A project on irrigated agriculture has transformed dry arid land into kitchen gardens thus providing families with an income and a diversified food source.
By developing solutions to their long-term problems, these communities are transforming their own lives and more so their futures.