World Humanitarian Day, established by the United Nations and celebrated annually on August 19, is the best time to show respect to humanitarian workers who provide aid around the world. It is a chance to honor the memory of people who lost their lives while serving others. Last year alone, 483 humanitarian workers were attacked: 125 were killed, 234 injured and 124 kidnapped in 277 incidents. Most of these events took place in Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Afghanistan and the Central African Republic. Over the past twenty years, more than 40,000 humanitarian workers have fallen victim to attacks during missions. One of the most tragic was the bomb attack on August 19, 2003 on the UN facility in Baghdad. On that tragic day, the president of the PCPM Foundation, Dr. Wojciech Wilk, was also there.
– I will remember August 19, 2003 for a long time. – Sylwia Wilk wrote. The phone rang: “There was an attack in Iraq at the Canal Hotel. Wojtek is alive. Not everyone was so lucky. ” On the fifth anniversary of the attack, at the invitation of the UN Secretary General, we went to Geneva. There we met those who survived the attack and the families of those who lost their lives helping others. This terrible day did not change our thinking about providing aid and helping those who need us. After August 19, 2003, Wojtek Wilk went to work in Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, he regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East.
AID, NOT ONLY HUMANITARIAN
Today, the PCPM Foundation provides aid all over the world, not only humanitarian, but also development and rescue. The latter, in the time of a pandemic, is of significant importance. Poland Emergency Medical Team is today one of the most experienced teams in Europe bringing support in fight with COVID-19 after having gained experience in Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Lebanon. At this point, the team is preparing for the next missions, one of them will start later this week.
-This is 360 ° help – explains the PCPM spokeswoman Aleksandra Rutkowska. – The WHO-certified PCPM Medical Rescue Team immediately arrives at the scene of the tragedy to provide emergency assistance. A group of humanitarian aid experts is also ready for sudden action – it proved its effectiveness, for example, during the last mission after the Beirut outbreak, where it provided aid from the first day after the tragedy. This full circle of aid is completed by development aid – strategic and long-term, which is to allow the development of countries that require special attention.
People who help others – despite the risk, they struggle with problems such as hunger, floods, droughts, tsunamis, locusts. From this year on, this list also includes a pandemic that exacerbates the problems mentioned above and hits the most countries that have been struggling with those issues for years. On World Humanitarian Aid Day, we would like to thank everyone involved in eliminating these problems. For each day of always demanding work, which is possible thanks to the sensitivity of everyone involved in supporting aid activities.
– This is a good moment to talk not only about our work in the field, but also the donors who support our activities and without whom our work would not be possible – emphasizes Zofia Kwolek, fundraising director of the PCPM Foundation. – Thank you to all those who made a donation, thank you very much to our business partners. We also thank the institutions that support our activities. Without you, our work would not be possible.
– We would also like to extend our big thanks to the journalists who make our help more visible, and thus -it only becomes greater – adds Rutkowska.