World Humanitarian Day

A few minutes of hatred were enough to end the lives of those who have lived for humanity in the most dangerous places in this world, leaving scars in the hearts of their families and colleagues, while illuminating the path for those who follow, to carry out their journey.

World Humanitarian Day:

In Iraq, the UN reported on August 19, 2003, that a bomb attack targeted the hotel where humanitarian workers were staying, in which 22 of them were killed, including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

Five years later, the General Assembly, in honor of the victims, declared August 19 as World Humanitarian Day.

Under the slogan “One Hand can’t clap”, this year’s World Humanitarian Day celebrations were launched, with a view to strengthening global solidarity and emphasizing the necessity for concerted efforts to meet the record rise in humanitarian needs around the world.

The purpose of World Humanitarian Day is to protect humanitarian workers, keep them safe, and celebrate their remarkable efforts in defying all dangers.

Humanitarian workers across the globe… And the looming dangers:

The attacks were directed not only at civilians or parties to the conflict but also at humanitarian workers, without considering their lives and the nobility of the task that falls to them.

In targeting humanitarian workers around the world, a statistic from The Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) indicates that 461 humanitarian workers were subjected to 268 attacks compared to the past two years, which led to the killing of 141 humanitarian workers, the injury of 203 others, and the abduction of 117, which represents the highest number since 2013.

As for the causes of death, 69% of the deaths were caused by direct targeting, 9% by air raids and bombing, 6% by explosives and kidnappings, 2% by assault accidents, and 9% by unknown factors.

In this context, Sudan ranked first in terms of attacks on humanitarian workers, followed by Afghanistan and Syria, respectively, according to the same statistic.

As Syria’s movement began, many young people turned to humanitarian action to help displaced and war-affected people through the relief and health sector, but they ended up a direct target of the destruction machine.

The Aid Worker Security (AWSD) database indicated that Syria has ranked third in the world’s largest number of attacks on aid workers between 2011 and 2019, as attacks reached a peak of 47 in 2019 alone, targeting 254 aid workers.

The same database shows that there were 22 attacks in 2021, killing 22 aid workers and wounding 36 others.

Thus, for humanitarian workers, Syria is one of the most dangerous places, since these attacks have disrupted the provision of relief and medical assistance and forced some aid workers to give up the field in fear of their lives, amidst the absence of international efforts to ensure the preservation of their lives, particularly in northern Syria.

For his part, The Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Kevin Kennedy, expressed concern over the wave of violence that struck humanitarian workers in 2020 in northern Syria.

In flagrant violation of the international standards that provide for the protection of humanitarian workers during hostilities, the Assad regime and its ally Russia have targeted many of our humanitarian workers, killing seven of them while they were in the field.

Samir Swaid…the first martyr of Violet organization

Samir Swaid, a unique personality, who died on December 25, 2015, after targeting him with other humanitarian workers while carrying out their duty in Idlib.

He was the Director of Water and Sanitation Program at Violet Organization, his love for his city made him aim to see it the most beautiful city in spite of the bombing and destruction.

He made every effort to clean streets and restore parks, homes, and public facilities.

Within a short period of time, he was able to launch 13 projects in the same field, and restoring 40 schools in northern Syria in the aim of completing educational process

Safwan Daaboul…the second martyr, and a great inspiration

Six years ago, on May 31, 2016, Violet lost one of its most ambitious members in a massive bombardment of Idlib, which resulted in dozens of civilian casualties, including children.

Safwan was an official in Violet’s food safety program, coordinated many projects and events, and was the founder of the Volunteer and Emergency Services Program, which has contributed to numerous emergency responses and provided a variety of services to thousands of displaced people and residents thus far.

Bashar al-Ja ‘far…. the third martyr.

Bashar al-Ja ‘far is the third member that Violet has lost, who died on 26 March 2018 following an air strike on the town of Binnish /Idlib.

The father of four was an educational supervisor in Violet’s education program.

An ambulance was targeted…. killing all its crew

On 20 September 2019, while carrying out their humanitarian work, a warplane directly targeted a civil ambulance belonging to violet in the city of Ma`arat al-Nu`man, which killed 3 paramedics: Saer Bahloul, Mahmoud al-Mustafa, and Abdulkader Nahtan, and severely injured 3 others, beside the death of the woman that the team was trying to rescue.

Subhi al-Assi… The latest losses

Subhi died from a guided missile targeting his house, which he was on his way to, after a long working day, but death what was waiting for him.

On the morning of the third day of July 2021, a rocket targeted the home of the volunteer Subhi al-Assi, where his family resides, killing him, his wife, and three of their children, while their other two children survived.

Before his death, Subhi worked in an isolation center, where he devoted his life to serving others despite the dangers of the Corona pandemic.


We as Violet Organization have always stressed the need to make sufficient efforts to ensure the preservation of the lives of humanitarian workers. We also urge that anyone who targets humanitarian workers or makes them vulnerable should be held accountable.

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