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World Humanitarian Day – humanitarian efforts against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Today, we mark World Humanitarian Day under the slogan ‘Real Life Heroes’. With the COVID-19 pandemic posing a grave challenge to all humanitarian operations, this year’s humanitarian day is dedicated to promoting solidarity and cooperation during severe crises.

World Humanitarian Day commemorates the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Iraq, which took the lives of 22 humanitarian workers, including Sergio Vieira de Mello, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq. The UN General Assembly declared 19 August World Humanitarian Day, dedicated both to people requiring help and humanitarian workers, who in the midst of conflicts, wars and violence face dangers every day and against all odds provide assistance to those in need.

This year’s slogan ‘Real Life Heroes’ honours all aid and health workers who face even greater challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and yet continue to provide invaluable support. World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity for us to pay tribute to all those who have committed their lives to helping others, and to celebrate their selfless endeavours.

Aid workers have a special mission, and we would like to present some of the operations which involve Slovenian providers of development assistance and humanitarian aid.

The Slovenian projects currently implemented in partner countries include those carried out by NGOs – two projects in Lebanon for Syrian refugees and a project in Uganda aimed at reducing hunger and ensuring access to drinking water. Also under way are projects implemented by ITF Enhancing Human Security, namely Mine action in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Psychosocial assistance for victims of conflict and rehabilitation in Gaza and the West Bank, Mines and explosive remnants of war risk education for Syrian refugees in Jordan, and Strengthening the psychosocial well-being of children from Ukraine.

Slovenia underlines the importance of respect for international humanitarian law, humanitarian principles and general principles of good humanitarian donorship. Its efforts are aimed specifically at countries and people caught up in the worst humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen and other Middle East countries, Sub-Saharan Africa and countries struggling with a high influx of refugees.

Slovenia provides humanitarian aid through international organisations, particularly the UN system, and through the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In addition, it also provides humanitarian and post-conflict assistance through ITF Enhancing Human Security, the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, NGOs and other institutions.