By Zahra Ahmad
On World Humanitarian Day, we celebrate the lives of humanitarian workers around the world who work tirelessly in dangerous and life-threatening areas affected by conflict and political instability. In a world riddled with disease, malnutrition, poverty, conflict and injustice; humanitarian workers strive to make a difference to combat these issues and create a better world for future generations. This day coincides with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, where 22 humanitarian workers were killed, and so commemorates their lives and noble efforts in transforming our world into a place free of abject poverty and injustice.
Undoubtedly, the work of humanitarian aid workers deserves to be noticed and more so, celebrated as without them, countless lives would be lost to the poverty cycle. Humanitarian workers venture out into zones of conflict, putting their own lives at risk in order to improve the wellbeing and livelihoods of impoverished communities. It is this strength and commitment to make the world a better place that must be commended at every opportunity – and what better way to do so, than on World Humanitarian Day.
An astonishing 80% of humanitarian aid is being delivered to civilians within a conflict-stricken region of the world meaning the threat to aid workers is even more pressing. It is crucially important that humanitarian efforts to support impoverished communities are therefore highlighted in the media and brought to the forefront of our minds – oftentimes, these individuals strive to change societal structures held in place to keep the poor poor, working against all odds to reverse the poverty trap and this is something which will not happen overnight, and so can truly test the patience of these workers. Working in this sector entails being immersed in the lives of those living in abject poverty who must face an array of socio-economic challenges- even with the increasing number of NGOs and organisations working on the ground to alleviate these issues, it is still not enough. However, working in this sector must also bring with it a remarkable sense of accomplishment and I believe it can be one of the most rewarding professions as once you witness the poverty and injustice that exists within the world, you are then able to take action and work to create a fair and just world where we are all given the same opportunities and basic human rights to food, water and shelter.
The humanitarian sector, therefore, fosters a sense of hope for a better world and inspires people of all ages to commit to this fight against global injustice and poverty – with the increasing interconnectedness of our world through social media and new technologies, we are able to spread campaigns and information of global crises much faster. We can use this to our advantage by utilising the technology around us to stay wired in to the injustice that unfolds around us and the ways in which we can support humanitarian efforts to alleviate them.
On World Humanitarian Day, follow the hashtag #ShareHumanity to follow stories of individuals working in impoverished areas of the world and striving to make a difference. You are also able to dedicate your entire social media feed to carry the stories of people living through some of today’s greatest humanitarian emergencies for 24 hours. Today, information can spread instantly at a touch of a button – so what better way to harness these technologies we are blessed with? Let us be the change that we want to see in the world and join a movement of people who are committed to see a better and brighter future for future generations.