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World Humanitarian Day

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There has been widespread media coverage of the Department for International Development for World Humanitarian Day 2017, including by BBC Breakfast, Channel 4, The Independent, Buzzfeed and others, as we highlighted the incredible work of frontline humanitarian staff.

World Humanitarian Day is held every year to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.

This year DFID has cast a spotlight on #AidHeroes from both DFID and its partners. BBC Breakfast featured an interview with International Search and Rescue’s Gary Carroll and Diesel the search and rescue dog, who have both responded to humanitarian disasters such as the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. Regional newspapers and radio across the country have also featured our staff in their hometowns, in areas such as Blackpool, Belfast and Brighton.

These staff have enabled the UK to reach 17 million people with humanitarian assistance in the last two years, including by:

  • providing clean water for over 3.2 million people affected by war in Syria
  • 2,800 tonnes of aid to stop the spread of Ebola
  • clean water, hygiene and sanitation to 430,000 displaced Iraqis
  • emergency support for the victims of war in Somalia and South Sudan

The International Development Secretary said:

I want to pay tribute to these brave men and women who provide hope where there is despair. They act without a moment’s hesitation, often leaving behind friends and family, to go save lives in some of the world’s most fragile and dangerous places.

These humanitarian heroes wearing the Union Jack allow Britain to stand tall in the world. Their expertise and remarkable skills demonstrate the very best of British values whilst helping to make countries safer and more stable.

DFID and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have also highlighted UK Government support for the Syria Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets. Through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), UK Government funding has contributed to 3,000 volunteers being trained and over 85,000 lives saved to date.

We have featured the personal efforts of staff from UK Urban Search and Rescue and International Search and Rescue to work with Mayday Rescue - who are funded through the UK Government and other countries to provide equipment, training and support to the White Helmets – to provide the White Helmets with equipment that can no longer be used in the UK, including helmets, protective clothing, metal cutters, drills, and more.

Please see further content on the White Helmets, the International Development and #AidHeroes on our Facebook and Twitter channels.

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