Around the world, conflict is exacting a massive toll on people’s lives. Trapped in wars that are not of their making, millions of civilians are forced to hide or run for their lives. Young people are taken out of school, families are displaced from their homes, and communities are torn apart, while the world is not doing enough to stop their suffering. At the same time, health and aid workers who risk their lives to care for people affected by violence are increasingly being targeted.
World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on the 19th of August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world. It brings attention to the millions of civilians affected by armed conflict every day. People in cities and towns struggle to find food, water, and safe shelter, while fighting drives millions from their homes. Young people are recruited and used to fight, and their schools are destroyed while women are sexually abused by fighters, and then shamed by their communities.
The total number of people affected by natural disasters has risen over the past decade, and about 211 million people are directly affected each year. Women and children are especially affected because of their ongoing struggles with poverty, insecurity, hunger, poor health and environmental decline. There are new and difficult challenges that arise each year that will require more flexible funding and adaptable humanitarian work. The increasing economic crisis and global challenges such as: poverty, global health problems, increase prices and the rising number of people on the move, increases the need for humanitarians each year.
World Assembly of Youth (WAY), voice out on behalf of youth in order for them to understand the human desire to live in a better world, but this will not be so without any effort. We also raise awareness on issues like gender equality, hunger and poverty and much more as gaining access to youth is our uppermost priority. It is an appropriate moment to call for a renewed commitment to humanitarian principles by all concerned.
The highest numbers of Humanitarian workers are young people and therefore we see the importance of international actions as the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs for addressing the causes, like poverty and inequalities, underpinning humanitarian crises. The role of youth in humanitarian action is important to us, as it is an important role, given that a majority of crises are directly affecting people.
On this World Humanitarian Day, let us once again remember the millions of people in need of help around the world, the humanitarians who have lost their lives and loved ones in the course of their work as well as the thousands of aid workers who have refused to be deterred and followed in their footsteps. Since 1949, we, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), stand strong for the human rights and fight for inherent dignity of every human being.