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Caritas Europa marks World Humanitarian Day with Pakistan in focus


19 Aug 2010


Health & Consumers
Social Europe & Jobs

Caritas Europa pays tribute to all humanitarian workers worldwide and renews its commitment to helping the vulnerable and suffering people

Brussels, 19 August 2010 - Today, 19 August, is World Humanitarian Day. Caritas Europa wants to mark this day by paying a tribute to all humanitarian aid workers around the world, notably the thousands from the global Caritas Confederation, who are relentlessly devoting their lives to support those affected by war, internal conflicts and natural disasters. 

Over the last decade, the death toll among humanitarian workers has been steadily rising due to their increasingly complex and highly risky working environment. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 102 humanitarian workers were killed in 2009 as compared with 30 in 1999.

In 2010 the Humanitarian Community is facing again a long series of very grave challenges. The devastating Haiti earthquake, the giant floods and landslides in Pakistan, Northern India and China, the ravaging wildfires in Russia… are the most known examples of a larger list of disasters that are impacting the lives of millions of people. Most of these are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, especially the children and the elderly.

Caritas Europa Humanitarian Officer, Harald Happel, highlights that “despite the economic and financial crisis’ pressure on donor countries’ aid budgets, the International Community must continue supporting humanitarian efforts to bring assistance to the most vulnerable populations. This shall be done on the basis of need alone and not as an instrument of government or foreign policy.” 

According to Mr. Happel the current situation in Pakistan is the case in point where this humanitarian commitment should clearly be demonstrated. In this context, Caritas Europa highly supports the proposal of EU Commission President Barroso to hold an International Donors Conference on Pakistan.

For further information please contact:

Harald Happel

Humanitarian Officer

Tel.: + 32 (0)2 235 03 93

Mob.: + 32 (0)478 58 54 35