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19 Aug 2014
Last year, more humanitarian workers were kidnapped, seriously injured or killed than ever before, according to the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Mr Jan Eliasson made the remarks to members of the Security Council during a briefing on the protection of humanitarian workers in armed conflict.
August 19 is World Humanitarian Day, which honours the efforts of aid workers.
Working in some of the most dangerous places, these humanitarian workers take great risks to help people in desperate need, Mr Eliasson said.
“One hundred and fifty-five were reportedly killed, 171 were wounded and 134 kidnapped representing a 66 per cent increase in relation to 2012. Thus far in 2014, 79 humanitarian workers have been killed, 33 wounded and 50 kidnapped according to preliminary figures available at this stage.”
In recent years, the majority of incidents have taken place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria.
The overwhelming victims are national humanitarian staff working to save the lives of their own people, the Deputy Secretary-General noted.
And in recent weeks, several humanitarian workers have been killed in South Sudan and Gaza, he added.
These casualties should not be accepted as the “necessary cost of operating in risky environments”, Mr Eliasson warned.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.