As Nigeria joins the world to celebrate the 2018 World Humanitarian Day (WHD), the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has joined other relevant stakeholders providing humanitarian services in Nigeria to commemorate humanitarian workers who were either maimed or lost their lives in the course of duty.
Speaking during the occasion in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister used the occasion to celebrate the 40 health staff who laid down their lives in the course of rendering humanitarian services across the country, particularly in the North East.
Represented by the Director, Special Project, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Ngozi Azodoh, Adewole said that the day was not only aimed at honouring the fallen heroes and those injured at the course of doing their work, but to also acknowledge the on-going work of humanitarian workers around the world.
He further enjoined all well-meaning Nigerians to protect all workers rendering humanitarian services as well as civilians in conflict zones.
The Minister called on the general public to joined hands to find lasting solution that would ensure that humanitarian workers were protected because of the importance of their services to mankind and human existence.
In her goodwill message, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Hajia Sadia Umar Farouk, represented by Mrs. Susan Bada, noted that the uniqueness of the 2018 WHD was reflected in the global theme: #NOTATAGET’’.
“In most parts of the world, conflict is exerting a massive toll on people’s lives, children are being recruited by armed groups and used to fight and their schools are destroyed.
“As humanitarian workers we attempt to deliver aid and medical workers treat the sick and the wounded, they are directly targeted and in most cases they pay the supreme price.’’
In view of the above, Federal Commissioner reaffirmed the commitment of the NCFRMI to continue to collaborate with National and international bodies to work hard in ensuring the safety of humanitarian actors as well as encourage them in their commitment to the speedy restoration of normalcy in devastated communities and vulnerable zones.
Speaking on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission, the commissioner, Genre and Social Affairs, Dr. Fatima Jagne, said that the need for humanitarian services was on the increase worldwide and the challenges of delivering them were also increasing in a world that was conflict saturated.
She called on every stakeholder to see it as a duty to respect the principles guiding the protection of civilians during conflicts.
Also, she assured that the commission was working assiduously through preventive diplomacy and reconciliation to nip conflicts in the bud in the ECOWAS space.
WHD is a day set aside by the United Nations General Assembly to remember humanitarian workers, as well as increase public awareness and understanding of humanitarian activities worldwide.