Freiburg (Agenzia Fides) - On 19 August the United Nations celebrates World Humanitarian Day to honor the commitment of those who live to help others around the world. The day recalls in particular the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq on August 19, 2003 where 22 people died.
On the occasion of this anniversary, "Caritas International", the international aid office of Caritas Germany, stresses the important role of local partners and of their employees: "We often have international operators who are the focus of attention of the media" - says Oliver Müller, head of Caritas International- "but our gratitude goes especially to local partners because they provide immediate emergency first aid and carry out reconstruction work".
Caritas Germany relies on the cooperation of Caritas and other local partners who know the reality of the place and are more accepted in their countries. "On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day we especially recall our local colleagues who lost their lives", continues Müller, "hoping that this day may promote the acceptance and protection of humanitarian work. Emergency aid can only be effective if everyone respects humanitarian organizations as independent institutions".
According to statistics from the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the number of humanitarian operators killed has tripled in the last ten years. More than 100 humanitarian agents die every year. From 2005 to 2010 the highest number of attacks against humanitarian operators have been registered in Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, DR Congo and Iraq. "Caritas International" is also present in all these countries. (MS) (Agenzia Fides 18/08/2011)