BURUNDI: UN Call for Community Partnerships and Protection, as South Sudan, Burundi Commemorate World Humanitarian Day

By Odiwuor Opiyo

BUJUMBURA, AUGUST 19, 2022 (CISA) – The United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Burundi commemorated World Humanitarian Day on August 19, celebrating the lifesaving actions of tireless aid workers.

“World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to highlight the effectiveness and the positive impact of humanitarian work, and to celebrate people who come together to ease suffering and bring hope,” asserted Richmond Tiemoko, the UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi in a statement by OCHA.

Humanitarian and aid workers around the world respond to crises by offering lifesaving assistance in terms of food, cash, health clean water, protection services, and emergency education “in the wake of a combination of devastating conflicts including climate emergency, geopolitics, the COVID 19 pandemic, poverty and war.”

“In Burundi, the humanitarian community, alongside the Government, continues to provide multi-sectoral assistance to 947,000 most vulnerable people out of the 1.8 million in need. However, despite the country progressively transitioning towards development, challenges remain. Burundi is among the 20 most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change, generating displacements, epidemics and affecting food security,” reads the statement in part.

As such, a display of profiles of humanitarian workers in the country will be held at the United Nations Information Center in Bujumbura.

“The exhibition is open to the public and provides an insight into the different professionals and community members needed to deliver to the most vulnerable people. It comes to show that it takes a village to provide assistance.”

In South Sudan, OCHA called on the people to cooperate with aid workers as a holistic way of tackling the food crisis.

According to reports by Catholic Radio Network (CRN), Ms Sara Bysolo Nyant, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, urged the affected communities to jointly take responsibility and partner with the humanitarian agencies to attain lasting peace and development in the country.

More than 134 humanitarian workers in the country have been killed since 2013 and scores more harassed while saving the lives of vulnerable people in South Sudan.

“We need urgent collective efforts to help the vulnerable population in South Sudan; it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an array of partners to support crisis-affected people…  “Humanitarian works to save lives but it takes a village, it’s not only humanitarian workers that will solve the issue of South Sudan,” Ms Nyant is quoted to have said.

World Humanitarian Day is commemorated annually on August 19, to recognize humanitarian personnel, especially those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes.

The aim is to bring together partners from across the humanitarian system to advocate for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises, and for the safety and security of aid workers. This year’s theme is to show the importance, effectiveness and positive impact of humanitarian work.