Every year on the 19th of August, World Humanitarian day is celebrated around the world to recognize the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and mobilizes people to advocate for humanitarian action. The day was designated by the General Assembly seven years ago to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.
"World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate suffering. It is also an occasion to honour humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the frontlines of crises. I pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk." — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
While we celebrate people who work hard every day to alleviate humanitarian suffering or even sometimes pay with their lives, we salute the courage of those who are forced to leave their homes and source of livelihood due to violence and natural disaster. Every day there seems to be a different country in the news with a new tragic headline: Nigeria. Ukraine. Afghanistan. Yemen. and of course, Syria.
But the question I put forward is “where and how the resulting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) live?”. My answer will not be exhaustive; I promise.
Statistics has it that about 91 percent of IDPs live in host communities and only 9 percent live in camps. Next is how they live. If I focus only on IDPs energy needs amongst many other needs, then I will also tell you that they walk long distances to fetch firewood, cook with inefficient stoves and most probably don’t have electricity.
As a collective voice for young entrepreneurs and environmental advocates, Youth for Safe Energy Initiative does not shy from shouting it aloud that the risks that IDPs encounter through processing their foods from raw to edible (i.e cooking), and living in darkness could be reduced significantly, if access to safe energy and fuel is augmented profoundly during humanitarian crisis response.
Let me make this even simpler.
So, you might as well just say that we are soliciting for the provision of clean cook stoves and lightening in aid packages for IDPs from National and international bodies.
Hey! It’s One Humanity. Demand your action for the most vulnerable.
And yes, we just did. Happy World Humanitarian Day.
Guest post by Happy Amos
Contribution and editing : Gladys Durojaiye
*Photo credit : Gladys Durojaiye