Browsing Category: In The News

World Humanitarian Day

According to the United Nations, “World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is held every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises all over the world.”

Did you know?

  • International humanitarian assistance increased for the third consecutive year, reaching a record high of $28 billion in 2015. In 2016, it amounted for $27.2 billion.
  • In 2015, 287 aid workers were victims of major attacks: 109 killed, 110 wounded and 68 kidnapped.
  • A recent report by the World Health Organisation indicates that between 2014 and 2015, approximately a thousand people died as a result of attacks on medical facilities and workers in 19 countries.

Convoy of Hope’s Humanitarian Affairs team is tasked with monitoring and researching crises around the world, creating a response plan and implementing programs to assist people suffering as a result of those tragedies.

We asked the team what it means to be a humanitarian. This is what they said.

Working to advocate for humanitarianism is a very rewarding, yet overwhelming task. While providing relief and help to many in need, the experience of their poor conditions, the sense of suffering, the realization of what they have lost and the reality of their lack of safety weighs on me and compels me to keep working hard to do our part to bring that much-needed hope. — Tamar

Being part of Convoy’s humanitarian affairs team is humbling in many respects, but when I think of the work COH does for and among refugees, I can’t help but wonder that the true “humanitarians” in these situations are the mothers walking across hostile terrain and in harsh climates to protect small children and infants or the fathers who must make near impossible decisions – decisions most of us could never imagine – for the safety and future of their families. — Tom

It is really counter-cultural, counter self-preservation, counter tribal instincts and rights demanded under the threat of scarcity. The individuals we serve model the moral and spiritual grounds for intervention. It is generally they who first secured some vestiges of sanity in chaos to survive, who answered violence with peace, who placed the needs of their community and family ahead of their own safety. — Kari

Being a humanitarian is not an action that only exists while in a refugee camp or in the aftermath of a natural disaster: It is a commitment to a lifestyle from which we choose to view the world. In the realm of humanitarian affairs, we put ourselves in places where people require the most need, sometimes the areas are dangerous and most of the time the areas are thousands of miles from our families. Though our sacrifices can be great, it is minuscule compared to the pain our beneficiaries have gone through and sacrifices they have made to reach the safest places attainable to them. — Roshani

Please join us today as we pray for the humanitarians who are doing good work to help the poor and suffering throughout the world — no matter the risk.

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In The News / Inspiration / Staff Spotlight

Replace Fear with Kindness on World Refugee Day

A few short weeks ago, I visited the home of a single mother to three boys. She sat quietly next to me and we tried to nonverbally communicate through a series of smiles, nervous laughter and gestures. She reminded me of other mothers; strong, caring and loving. The difference between this mother and other mothers I know is that she led her children out of Syria to safety in Lebanon after her husband was killed. Her children have witnessed war, death and destruction, but life must go on for this family. With no home to call their own; they are stateless.

They are refugees.

My new friend and her family join 65.3 million other individuals who have been displaced from their homes due to war, conflict or climate change. Nearly 1 in every 100 persons around the world are displaced from their homes and, on average, people remain displaced from their homes for 17 years. For my friend, this means she must plan a new future for her children: one that will occur outside the comfort of her own home.

Today, and everyday, we celebrate my new friend and the millions of other refugees around the world who are learning new languages, navigating differences in cultures and dreaming new futures for their children. We lift up their courage and strength, and trade fear for kindness.

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In The News

Ambassador Hall Talks Hunger Crisis with Convoy

Ambassador Tony Hall serves as Convoy of Hope’s Special Advisor on Hunger. He recently discussed the Africa Hunger Crisis that could soon become a famine in many parts of East Africa. With tens of millions of lives at stake, Ambassador Hall believes time is of the essence and every citizen in the United States can play a significant role in combating the crisis.

Convoy: Reports suggest that many countries in East Africa are on the brink of mass famine, so why should friends of Convoy of Hope be concerned?

Ambassador Hall: Today in areas threatened by famine, people are at risk of dying from starvation at a rate that rivals that of World War II. We need to pay attention and intervene in this crisis because we can play a part in saving the lives of children and families. Convoy of Hope knows what to do and is already on the ground helping those in need.

Convoy: Six years ago, more than 260,000 people died in Africa because of famine. With the region on the brink of famine once again, why is the media not reporting on the crisis?

Ambassador Hall: There are so many things going on throughout the world from the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, to threats from North Korea, to terrorist attacks on civilians in major cities throughout the world that the hunger crisis in Africa is being overlooked. It’s our moral duty to make the crisis in East Africa a story that we not only advocate for, but one that we intervene in and take action to correct.

Convoy: Food insecurity, famine and lack of proper nutrition take a severe toll on all who are caught up in it. Describe what those scourges look like on the ground.

Ambassador Hall: The first 1,000 days of a child’s life from conception to age 2 are crucial days that dictate the child’s quality of life. When children do not get proper nutrition and care during those first days they suffer stunted growth, impaired brain development, and their immune systems are so weakened that they become more prone to diseases that can take their lives. This is not acceptable and it can be corrected with proper nutrition. There is enough food for everyone, we just need to get it to those in need.

Convoy: If we end hunger, we wipe out many other factors that kill people too?

Ambassador Hall: Twenty-one thousand people die every day. This is absolutely senseless. When you compound the impact diseases can have on a person’s life with a hunger crisis or famine and the results are devastating to millions and millions of people. We have to take a stand against hunger and do everything within our means to combat it.

Convoy: Besides supporting Convoy of Hope’s work on the ground in East Africa, what else can our friends do to combat the hunger crisis and impending famine?

Ambassador Hall: There are several things every American can do! First, start advocating by alerting and educating your children, family, friends and neighbors. Use your influence on social media to bring awareness to the problem. We also need to reach out our elected officials and let them know that the crisis in East Africa is one that the United States needs to be actively involved in combating.

Convoy: You’ve said taking on this crisis and working toward ending it is a moral duty. Can you elaborate on that?

Ambassador Hall: The Gospels talk of Jesus imploring us to help the least of these. That was as true then as it is today. We have a moral responsibility to help those who are hungry and suffering. I am thankful that Convoy of Hope is actively working to end both. In doing so, we are not only helping those in need — we are stopping the spread of ISIS and other terrorists who are actively recruiting hungry and hurting people. If we don’t feed the hungry and help those who are hurting, ISIS and others of their ilk will. The fact is, hunger is a security issue and we cannot stand by.

Convoy: Anything else you’d like add?

Ambassador Hall: The burden is on all of us to bring awareness to this crisis and to be actively involved in combating it. Twenty-one million people are facing starvation. Let’s help Convoy of Hope help them.

Learn more about Convoy of Hope’s response here.

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In The News