Caritas Europa Welcomes UN’s “I Was Here” Campaign on World Humanitarian Aid 2012

Date

17 Aug 2012

Sections

Global Europe

Press release

This Sunday 19 August is the World Humanitarian Aid Day. On this occasion, Caritas Europa wants to salute and thank all humanitarian aid workers across the planet for their commitment and generosity to mankind.

Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people around the world, regardless of who they are and where they are. Many of them are Caritas workers, who put their own life in danger to help people in need, inspired by a heartfelt belief in the equal dignity of all human beings and Caritas’ guiding principle of the preferential option for the poor.

World Humanitarian Day is meant to be a global celebration of people helping people. Caritas Internationalis has joined the UN “I was here” campaign to pay a tribute to all Caritas workers who died as part of their humanitarian commitment.

This edition of the United Nation’s campaign goes under the theme "People Helping People." Caritas welcomes this campaign since it inspires the spirit of aid work in everyone and reaffirms the importance of the core humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence, especially when humanitarian needs are increasing.

Humanitarian Aid at Crossroads

In recent years, NGOs and other humanitarian actors have repeatedly highlighted the increased politicisation of humanitarian aid by some governments that undermine humanitarian principles.

A recent Caritas Europa report, entitled “Bridging the gap between Policy and Practice” highlights the importance of the respect of humanitarian principles at policy and practice level. The Member Organisations of Caritas Europa consider that there is a vital need to continue to raise awareness about the principles of the EU Consensus of Humanitarian Aid not only among the EU Member States but also among other UN members.

For Caritas Europa, the main challenge is to ensure that EU Member States’ policies and practices are coherent with the EU Consensus on Humanitarian Aid. In this sense, Caritas Europa will join the “I was here” campaign to connect with citizens worldwide and encourage them to monitor Humanitarian Aid policies and strategies highlighting practices where government implementation is not in line with the Humanitarian Consensus.

Caritas Europa encourages its thousands of volunteers and staff delivering humanitarian aid across the world to assume this watchdog role.

For more information, please contact:

Alain Rodríguez, Communication Officer | +32 2 2352654 | arodriguez@caritas-europa.org