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Today is World Humanitarian Day. It is a day the United Nations set aside to recognize “sacrifices and contributions of [humanitarian aid workers] who risk their lives to give others help and hope.”

There are dozens of aid organizations working right now, for example, in the Horn of Africa. It’s a dangerous place to try to get aid in to the people who need it most. Militant and terrorist groups are thwarting humanitarian efforts, and aid workers lives’ are at risk. 

But aid work hasn’t ever been easy. From the U.N. site:

Over the past years humanitarian work has become more dangerous. The level of threats and number of deliberate attacks on aid organizations – our people, equipment and facilities – has risen dramatically. In 2010, 242 aid workers were killed, injured or kidnapped.

On 19 August 2003, a bomb was detonated at the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 22 people. World Humanitarian Day is held on the anniversary of the attack.

As a humanitarian organization that’s been working for nearly 70 years to end hunger and poverty, Heifer wants to recognize all aid workers who risk their lives for the betterment of the world. We also can't forget those who have helped us in our mission—from the staff in our 40 country offices to the 1,200 volunteers and our myriad donors from around the United States. 
We also want people to be aware of the small actions they can take to make a difference in countries far and wide.

Like the U.N. recommends: take action, spread the word, volunteer.  The World Humanitarian day website offers ways everyone can help with the Horn of Africa crisis. Or get involved with Heifer. Go here for more information on how you can help us end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. 

Author

Annie Bergman

Bergman is a Global Communications Manager for Heifer and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo in her six years at Heifer. Bergman received her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma and a master’s degree in Australian Aboriginal Studies from the University of Melbourne in Australia. Her hobbies include hiking, golfing, cooking, reading and walking her dogs.