World Vision Mali
article • Friday, October 6th 2017

World Day for Humanitarian Aid: Protecting Civilian Populations in conflict situations

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As in other parts of the world, World Humanitarian Day was celebrated in Mali in region under the leadership of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 

This day, consecrated by the UN resolution of 11 December 2008,is dedicated to the memory of all those who have lost their lives or are injured,  in helping but also those who still continue to brave the dangers to assist people in distress.

The day was attended by several United Nations agencies and Humanitarian organizations in Mali including World Vision Mali through its office of response in Sevare.

For this edition, the theme chosen is the protection of civilians in conflict situations under the slogan "Not a Target"

This is for humanitarians to attract the attention of decision-makers and the general public, on the suffering of civilians in conflict and to advocate for their best protection.

Two days were used to celebrate this day (18 and 19 August 2017) through the testimonies , the conferences, debates on the protection of civilians in conflict situations, the theater service on the activities and role of humanitarians, exhibitions and visiting stands of humanitarian organizations, and a football match.

The mayor of the urban commune of Mopti followed by the head of the OCHA office  and the representative of the Governor of Mopti region in turn have  took the floor to pay tribute to humanitarian organizations.

They gave a reminder of the history of the day and emphasized on the need to protect and "not target" the civilian population, including:

  • Civilians in urban contexts

  •  Children

  •  Victims of sexual violence

  •  Humanitarian workers

  •  Medical staff

  •  People displaced by conflict.

Humanitarian organizations operating in the northern and central parts of the country are also affected by this climate of insecurity and are regularly victims of robberies and vehicle robberies and other types of violence.

Since 2013, in Mali, six aid workers have been killed in attacks and six others have been seriously injured. Eight humanitarian workers were also abducted, seven of whom were released.

About World Vision Mali Intervention, Aïssata Diallo, beneficiary of World Vision's seasonal assistance project, testifies:
'' I am a widow; I have five (5) grandchildren who my son and his wife abandoned after a divorce. I fight alone to ensure the survival of my grandchildren, I do not know where their parents are”

Displaced because of the crisis in 2012, Aissata lost her left eye in an accident in 2011, in 2016, it was a victim of a flood, it has neither field nor cattle, its only source of income is the sale of shea butter, which it takes on credit and after-sale reimburses the supplier.

"Hardly with this trade I could provide a single meal for my family. My grandchildren often slept without eating. With this help from World Vision, I can provide three meals a day for my family, my grandchildren are doing very well and have found a smile, "said Aminata.

The conference focused on the protection of civilians in conflict situations, it was facilitated by the head of OCHA Mopti and a head of the High Council for Refugees.
For an hour they helped with the dangers to which civilians are exposed and the national and international instruments that protect them.

As for the theater troupe in Mopti, it has entertained the public about the protection of civilians and the role and activities of humanitarians.
Through daily scenes, the public has understood the dangers to which civilians and humanitarians are exposed and how they can be protected from the community level at national and international level.

Several organizations presented their products to the participants through an exhibition through the stands. These include UNICEF, WFP, Save the Children, DRC, Care Mali, FAO, OCHA Wetlands International and World Vision.

A football match closed the two days dedicated to the humanitarian day in Mopti.

The winning team received the symbolic sum of 25,000f CFA from the head of the OCHA office in Mopti.
The 2017 edition of the celebration of Humanitarian World Day Aid, is an invitation to humanitarian organizations to work together to carry out this mission entrusted to them.

 

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