World Humanitarian Day, 19 August

  • 18 Aug 2016 9:00 AM
World Humanitarian Day, 19 August
Currently some 130 million people are in humanitarian need: distressed civilian populations, families, and refugees stricken by natural or man-made disaster or armed conflict. Children are missing out on school, and the injured and sick lack medical treatment. Countless aid workers risk their lives every day for those in need. World Humanitarian Day on 19 August is dedicated to raising awareness of these people.

International organisations, aid organisations, relief teams and activists work to help populations hit by crisis, and their work receives millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money every year; yet the gap between their needs and the resources available continues to grow. This gap currently amounts to USD 15 billion.

The problem, however, is not purely budget-related: the operation of the humanitarian relief system must be reviewed. In May 2016 the United Nations presided over the World Humanitarian Summit, at which states and other stakeholders providing humanitarian assistance committed to establishing a better functioning system.

Hungary shows its solidarity towards those suffering in crisis situations, and is participating in international humanitarian assistance in accordance with its resources. In 2015 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided some HUF 435 million for this purpose, directly helping those concerned in cooperation with the family of organisations of the UN and the Red Cross, and with Hungarian civil society organisations.

Last year the Ministry spent most of its available humanitarian resources on relief to those involved in the conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as on flood relief in the Western Balkans.

The Ministry is continuing to support international organisations undertaking humanitarian tasks in 2016, but it has also provided help bilaterally: it provided emergency aid of HUF 1.4 million following the Ecuador earthquake.

The Ministry sent non-perishable foodstuffs and disinfectants worth the same amount to Skopje after the devastating storm in Macedonia. Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the National Directorate General for Disaster Management had HUF 18.8 million at its disposal for relief following the storm.


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