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World Humanitarian Day 2022. PAH spokesperson explains how aid organisations work

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Światowy Dzień Pomocy Humanitarnej. Rzeczniczka PAH o działalności fundacji
TVN24August 19 - World Humanitarian Day. Polish Humanitarian Action spokesperson in TVN24

Humanitarian organisations are run by whole machines. In order for the actual support to work, a huge army of people is needed - Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) spokesperson Helena Krajewska told TVN24 on Friday. August 19 has been designated as World Humanitarian Day by the United Nations General Assembly.

On 19 August 2003, a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Five years later, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 19 August as World Humanitarian Day (WHD).

Each year, WHD focuses on a theme, bringing 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.

For this year’s WHD, we show the importance, effectiveness and positive impact of humanitarian work.

WHD is a campaign by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) spokesperson Helena Krajewska explained in an interview for TVN24 on Friday how humanitarian organisations function, based on the workings of her own institution.

"In a nutshell, this kind of work often looks very much like office jobs. Because in order for the actual humanitarian aid to work, such delivering a package to someone, digging a well or rebuilding a home, a huge army of people have to be involved. People who will set the budget, who will prepare logistics, who will inspect warehouses, who will check transport. A whole machine is operating. Often in humanitarian organisations we have people specialised in helping in various fields, often very specific ones," she said.

PAH spokesperson on support for Ukraine: it was a huge mass mobilisation

Helena Krajewska also spoke about how Poles helped Ukrainians after the war had broken out. "It was an incredible half of year. We've always known Poles want to help, they want to act together, but no one expected it would take such a form, such a scale," she said.

"We had people who would donate half of their wages, who opened their homes to refugees, who would visit reception points each day or take leave of absence at work to go the border. A few thousand volunteers came forward to us. More than 400 helped us in the end. At the border, at warehouses, at reception centres. It was a huge mass mobilisation," Krajewska added.

She also reminded, however, that the war in Ukraine had not ended crises taking place in the other parts of the world. "That's why it's so important to support humanitarian organisations like PAH in a general way, that is by donating money to the so-called 'PAH decides'. We can then relocate the funds to a particular crisis or move them where people have already forgotten there is an ongoing crisis. Like in Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan," PAH spokesperson said.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24

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