Record of violence against humanitarian workers

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Violence against aid workers has never been higher than last year, the UN said on Wednesday, on World Humanitarian Day.

In 2019, attacks on humanitarians topped all previous years, with a total of 483 aid workers attacked, 125 killed, 234 injured and 124 kidnapped in 277 separate incidents, the UN said citing the center’s database. Humanitarian Outcomes research.

This represents an 18% increase in the number of victims compared to 2018.

In recent weeks alone, “vile attacks” have claimed the lives of aid workers in Niger and Cameroon, and since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, scores of healthcare workers have been attacked in the region. the whole world, worried the UN in a statement.

In 2019, most of the attacks took place in Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic. Mali and Yemen both saw a doubling of attacks compared to the previous year.

In particular, an upsurge in attacks against health workers was recorded in 2019, especially against doctors in Syria and humanitarian workers engaged in the fight against the Ebola epidemic in the DRC.

“To aid workers around the world doing important and courageous work on the front lines, we say: ‘Thank you’,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock.

“The best way to honor humanitarian workers is to fund their work and ensure their safety,” he added.

World Humanitarian Day is the day of the attack on the UN compound in Baghdad on August 19, 2003, which claimed the lives of 22 people, including that of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq. , Sergio Vieira de Mello. Since then, nearly 5,000 humanitarian workers have been killed, wounded or kidnapped, the decade 2010-2019 having seen an increase of 117% of attacks compared to the period 2000-2009, according to the UN.

Just recently, on August 9 in Niger, six humanitarian workers from the French NGO Acted were murdered, with their Nigerien driver and guide, by armed men on motorcycles while they were visiting the Kouré giraffe reserve, 60 km away. south-east of the capital Niamey, where they were based.

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