Cologne: On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, Malteser International looks back on a first half of 2015 that has been marked with a series of tragic milestones. In particular, the crisis in Syria and a series of population displacements in northern Iraq have caused the number of refugees and displaced people there to rise enormously. Around the world, there are currently more than 60 million people who have been forced to flee their homes – the largest number since United Nations records began. In July, the number of refugees from Syria alone grew to over 4 million. Alongside, the devastating earthquake in Nepal, ongoing flooding in South East Asia, a civil war in South Sudan and droughts in Haiti the worldwide demand for humanitarian aid stands at an unprecedented level.
“Humanity is, alongside neutrality, impartiality and independence, one of the four essential principles of aid work, and today’s commemoration is intended to remind us of that. We are faced with horrendously high numbers of refugees around the world, and the violent suffering that these people have experienced to cause them to flee from their homes is unimaginable. This humanitarian aspect is therefore something that I would also like to emphasise: we cannot let up in our efforts to help these people,” says Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International.
In the first six months of 2015, Malteser International provided emergency relief for almost 90,000 people: providing refugees and people affected by natural disasters with medication, drinking water, food, hygiene articles and shelter. More than 400,000 people received medical treatment at over 300 health facilities, supported by Malteser International.
“On this day, my thanks go above all to our colleagues on the ground, who are performing their work under difficult conditions with great personal dedication as well as to our supporters who enable us to provide relief to people in need,” said Radtke. World Humanitarian Day on the 19th August is dedicated to the principles of humanitarian relief, and to the memory of all aid workers who lost their lives in the course of their work.
For editors: Ingo Radtke, Malteser International's Secretary General, is available for interviews.
Contact: Phone: +49 221 9822-155, petra.ipp(at)malteser-international(dot)org