August 20, 2018

Aurora commemorates World Humanitarian Day

Sunday 19 August marks the 15th annual World Humanitarian Day, with the important theme of: civilians are #notatarget.

Sunday 19 August marks the 15th annual World Humanitarian Day, with the important theme of: civilians are #notatarget.

On the 15th anniversary of the death of 22 humanitarian aid workers in a bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, we come together to insist that civilians are never again made a target.  As Aurora Selection Committee member Lord Ara Darzi writes in today’s Sunday Times, “This could hardly fall at a more opportune time as so many across the world are still targets”.  Click here to Nominate a Humanitarian Hero that you know is working to help end human suffering, and read Lord Darzi’s full piece below:   

“Many people may not know that today is World Humanitarian Day with its theme of civilians are #notatarget . This could hardly fall at a more opportune time as so many across the world still are targets; in Syria, in Africa and - in the very recent past - in Europe in Ireland and the Balkans.

It is too easy for us to forget the horrors of previous generations and play politics with the past. Where once we may have been comfortable that the hardest lessons had been learned, growing division at home and abroad reminds us that we must never be complacent about the need for greater unity.

As an immigrant to Britain, born to Armenian parents displaced by the genocide of 1915, I am only too keenly aware of the devastating effect that period had on the people who survived and their descendants. The legacy continues to shape those who survived. But we all have two choices in the aftermath of violence: either remain a victim or - once surviving and thriving - to continue the cycle of gratitude and giving. On today of all days, I am hopeful both victims and those who work to protect them, in and out of government, around the world, will make the right choice.

Lord Ara Darzi OM KBE is a Peer of the House of Lords, a Professor of Medicine at Imperial College London, and a member of the Selection Committee for the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the largest individual prize in the world for humanitarianism.” 

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