Ms May Ikokwu, the Lead Humanitarian and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), has called for greater support for humanitarian workers both in Nigeria and globally.
Ikokwu made the call on the occasion of the 2022 World Humanitarian Day (WHD) in Abuja on Friday.
The event has the theme “Focusing on Thousands of Volunteers, Professionals and Crisis-Affected People
Who Deliver Urgent Healthcare, Shelter, Food, Protection, Water and Much More.”
The group CEO said humanitarian workers are always first to respond when disaster strikes, and commended them
for supporting distressed persons, saying they constitut a global community.
She emphasised the imperatives of rallying support for people who faced different challenges to ease their
suffering and bring hope to others.
She added that “we should all try to know the challenges of aid workers so as to proffer solution to them as a village of helpers.
“A lot of people in Nigeria and in many countries of the world have been displaced by either natural disasters or war;
we should put more efforts to assist aid workers as they go about helping survivors of such diasters.”
She described humanitarian aid as an essential act of love and care, necessary for global development.
The humanitarian, who urged well-meaning Nigerians to assist those in need, said “it is time women, older persons
and children in insurgency areas are given desired help and care.
“Humanitarian aid is seen as a fundamental expression of the universal value of solidarity between people and a moral imperative.
“Our sisters, children and older persons, including vulnerable persons in Borno, Adamawa and other war torn areas should be given hands of fellowship.”
Ikokwu affirmed the collective benefits of humanitarian aid as communal harmony and stability.
According to her, crime or thoughts of suicide or homicide are likely to reduce when someone in a seeming hopeless state is given hope and meaning for his or her life.
“Touch a life today and make him or her have reason to cheer up and wish to live on.
She said that according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) updated 2022 report, internal displacement in Nigeria was the result of a multitude of complex and often overlapping triggers and drivers.
She added that “the activities of Boko Haram and other Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs), led to significant displacement in the North East since 2009.
“According to the IDMC Report, around 3.2 million people live in internal displacement.”
She also identified natural disasters such as rainy season and flood as being responsible for displacement of other thousands of people every year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Aug. 19, 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 UN General Assembly adopted a resolution designating Aug. 19 as World Humanitarian Day (WHD). (NAN)