World Humanitarian Day 2011

Emergencies article written on the 19 Aug 2011

Most of us will be fortunate enough to never know disaster. Our lives will not be torn apart by flooding, famine, conflict. But the world is changing, and uncertainty confronts us all.

Today, on World Humanitarian Day, we honour aid workers across the globe who are facing this uncertainty head-on; who are putting the lives of others before their own to help make the world a little more safe – a little more certain. And we honour the humanitarian spirit in each of us: no act of courage and compassion is a small one.

So if you’ve got an idea that could make the world a better place, don’t be shy.  Pitch your idea to the secretary general of the United Nations in 30 seconds or less, and submit it before 8 September to the 2011 Citizen Ambassadors Video Contest.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out the UN’s amazing video from WHD 2010, shot across 43 countries. This year the UN revisits four aid workers featured in the original video, and gives us a more personal look at what they do and why they do it. And our emergencies manager Richard Young talks to the ABC about why he left his banking career in the 1980s to become an aid worker.

Want to know more about  Oxfam’s humanitarian aid work? Right now we’re responding to emergencies around the world, including the crisis in East Africa, seasonal flooding in Pakistan and cholera outbreaks in Haiti.

The work we do at Oxfam wouldn’t be possible if not for the courage and commitment of aid workers the world over. Whether or not we’ve had the privilege to work with you directly, today we thank all members of the humanitarian aid community for helping to make the world a better place. You’re remarkable, each and every one of you. Of that we’re certain.