August 19th: World Humanitarian Day

On World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to those who work every day to help others to have a better quality of life. 

Humanitarian aid is a solidarity action aimed at populations that are victims of a crisis caused by natural phenomena or war. To be considered as such, those who provide it must follow the principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality.

In this article we tell you what Humanitarian Assistance is, why this date is commemorated and how each of us can contribute to a more caring world population. Here we honor those who in big or small actions work to give others the opportunity of a more dignified life beyond adverse circumstances. 

What is Humanitarian Aid?

As mentioned in the introduction, Humanitarian Assistance is a solidarity action aimed at populations that are victims of natural disasters or wars.

This aid can be given in 3 instances:

  • Emergencies,
  • Reconstruction and rehabilitation, 
  • Disaster prevention.

But not all aid is Humanitarian Aid. It must gather the four principles stipulated by the United Nations in General Assembly Resolutions 46/182 (1991) and 58/114 (2006).

Below we tell you what they are and what they consist of.

1) Principle of humanity

Human suffering must be cared for wherever it is found. The aim of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for human beings.

2) Principle of impartiality

It should be provided on the basis of need, giving priority to the most urgent cases. Without making distinctions on the basis of nationality, race, sex, religious belief, class or political opinion.

3) Principle of operational independence

It must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any humanitarian actor may have into the areas where actions are being implemented.

4) Principle of neutrality

Humanitarian actors must not take sides in hostilities and controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

About this date and current humanitarian affairs

In December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly declared August 19th as World Humanitarian Day. In memory of the victims at the brutal terrorist attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad (Iraq) on August 19, 2003, where 22 people lost their lives.

On this date, we honor the humanitarian workers and health professionals who provide aid and protection to millions of people. Even at the risk of their own lives. Many of them were killed or injured in the harsh conditions in which they worked.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the strong restrictions on the circulation of international personnel could explain the increase in national humanitarian personnel who are victims of attacks (assassinations, injuries or kidnappings). A figure that amounted to an alarming 95%.

Even so, millions of people overcome daily access barriers to help those affected by humanitarian crises in 54 countries. Because of the need generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the populations of another 9 nations have been added to this list.

 

How many people are in need of assistance and human protection worldwide?

2020

2021

1 in 45 people

1 in 33 people

 

This year, World Humanitarian Day is being commemorated under the hashtag #TheHumanRace. It aim to highlight the consequences of climate emergencies and how they affect the world’s most vulnerable communities. Paradoxically, the hardest hit populations by the climate emergency are the ones that have contributed the least. Millions of people have lost their homes and livelihoods.

Committed to more humanitarian treatment

For Amarin, this date is very important, because it closely touches our purpose. Day by day we work guided by the conviction that all people deserve to have their suffering taken care of. Not only to protect their health but above all to offer them a better quality of life.

Although humanitarian assistance is associated with major disasters or wars.  Around the world, thousands of health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry work to treat different diseases and generate treatments to prevent those that can be spread in the community.

In 2020, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave its favourable opinion to 97 new drugs. Beyond the difficult situation due to the health crisis resulting from COVID-19, laboratories and doctors worked side by side to provide answers to several therapeutic areas. Among which we can highlight drugs for Oncology, Endocrinology, Hematology, Uro-nephrology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, to name a few areas. 

Among these almost one hundred drugs are vaccines against diseases such as HIV, Ebola, Cholera, Influenza, among others. However, the most important achievement of 2020 has been the vaccines and drugs to treat COVID-19.

These results are a sign of a deep commitment of the medical community and the pharmaceutical R&D area in pursuit of a more dignified life for people around the world.

Today we pay tribute to those who are in the front line of Humanitarian Aid. In Amarin, we believe that we can support such noble labour by working day by day to help others to have a better quality of life.

 


 

References:

  1. OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs). Junio 2010. “Principios Humanitarios”. https://www.unocha.org/sites/dms/Documents/OOM_HumPrinciple_Spanish.pdf    
  2. Naciones Unidas. “World Humanitarian Day” https://www.un.org/observances/humanitarian-day

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