White House marks World Humanitarian Day

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, August 19, 2011 14:36 EDT
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WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday honored relief workers from Somalia to Sudan and Afghanistan to Yemen to mark the third United Nations-sponsored World Humanitarian Day.

“The United States joins with the international community in honoring the courage and commitment of dedicated aid workers like these who devote their lives to serving their fellow human beings, often in extremely dangerous circumstances,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

“From the eastern Horn of Africa to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya to Yemen, Sudan to Pakistan to Afghanistan, these unarmed aid workers risk their lives to provide life-saving assistance to millions of men, women and children.”

In a written statement, Carey remembered three aid workers who were kidnapped by the Islamist Shebab group in a hospital in Somalia this week.

He also lauded aid workers who rushed to help Japan to help after this year’s earthquake and tsunami tragedy and those seeking to mitigate the current drought and famine in East Africa, which threatens millions with starvation.

He also noted that in Sudan, aid workers face violent attacks, kidnapping and danger from landmines as they seek to help people displaced by war.

“Around the world, every humanitarian aid worker must be free to serve without fear for their safety, and every human being must be able to pursue their aspirations in peace, dignity and security,” Carney said.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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