UNITED NATIONS, August 19 - Marking this year's World Humanitarian Day, the UN on Tuesday announced that 79 aid workers have been killed so far in 2014, with an upsurge in killing in July and August in South Sudan and Gaza.
“One aid worker killed in the line of duty is one too many. Nurses, engineers, logisticians and drivers for example all take great risk doing their work in sometimes extremely dangerous and difficult circumstances,” the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said.
The UN said that in 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 were seriously wounded and 134 were kidnapped. This was a 66 per cent increase in the number of victims from 2012. With 81 aid workers killed in 2013, Afghanistan is still the country with the highest number of attacks.
Mahmoud Deeb Daher, Head of Office of the World Health Organization in Gaza, said that “as a nurse, I am supporting people who need healthcare services during the violence. We need more humanity, and today is a day that reminds me of why I do what I do: to alleviate suffering, and allow people to live in peace.”
The talks on Gaza in Cairo have yet to yield a sustainable ceasefire.
World Humanitarian Day marks the anniversary of the UN Headquarters bombing in Baghdad in 2003 when 22 people, including UN humanitarian veteran Sergio Vieira de Mello, were killed.