World Humanitarian Day 2016: EU calls for respect of International Humanitarian Law

August 19, 2016
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On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day (19 August), which marks the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, where 22 humanitarian workers lost their lives, EU High Representative for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Christos Stylianides reiterated the urgent need for all parties to the conflict in Syria “to restore the cessation of hostilities, ensure the lifting of all sieges and allow sustained, countrywide humanitarian access to those in need in Syria.”
“Today, on World Humanitarian Day, we pay special tribute to and honour all humanitarian workers around the globe who are working to help people in need. We honour the memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives to save the lives of others. We honour all those who risk their lives while bringing assistance to victims of wars and natural disasters worldwide.
Nearly 4000 humanitarian workers have become victims of major attacks since records began in 1997. Tragically, over one third of them were killed, paying the ultimate price to serve humanity,” said the EU Representatives in a joint statement issued today.
They reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to defending International Humanitarian Law (IHL) recalling that the EU last year “mobilised the largest ever humanitarian aid budget to assist those in the greatest need.”
“The European Union is proud to be a world leader in humanitarian assistance and to have helped more than 134 million victims of natural and man-made disasters across more than 80 countries in 2015.” (EU Neighbourhood Info)
Read more
World Humanitarian Day: EU humanitarian action factsheet
Video: World Humanitarian Day – Statement by EU Commissioner Christos Stylianides 
Mogherini’s Declaration on Syria and the situation in Aleppo
European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection – Syrian crisis factsheet  
European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) – Website