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Celebrating World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day

This week the world commemorates the work of thousands of dedicated humanitarian workers who work tirelessly every day to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable. Humanitarians are just normal people who have chosen to act in order to make a difference to people's lives.

The theme of World Humanitarian Day this year is Real life Heroes. It's an opportunity to remember the brave individuals who have been killed and injured during the course of their work, and who continue to risk their lives to help others.

During 2019, 125 aid workers were killed, 483 aid workers were attacked, 234 wounded and 124 kidnapped during the course of their work.

Most of the attacks occurred in Syria and South Sudan, countries where GOAL works. At the same time, thanks to the commitment and dedication of humanitarian workers;

  • 28.9 million children were vaccinated globally last year;
  • 32.2 million people were provided with access to safe water and
  • 6.9 million children aged between six months and five years were treated for acute malnutrition.

GOAL has over 2,500 staff working in difficult contexts in 13 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. This year those staff, along with aid workers everywhere, have had to overcome the unprecedented hurdles presented by Covid-19. Movement and access restrictions have been major challenges. As a result of the pandemic key services have been scaled back or even suspended in many of the 53 countries that require humanitarian intervention.

To mark World Humanitarian Day we hear from GOALies on the front line in their mission to make this a better world for all.

Meet Thando, Mahmadou, Ma’an and Jorge - four of the real life heroes we're fortunate to work with everyday.


Okpah & Tarek

"You must be an ointment for people’s wounds."

Okpah and Tarek work in some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable. They share their stories of displacement in Syria.


Gabriella Prandini

GOAL Zimbabwe's Country Director, Gabriella Prandini, has been working on the humanitarian frontline for 20 years.

Gabriella tells us about the unique challenges faced by humanitarian aid workers this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Jorge Tejeda

"I have seen first-hand the struggles of people and how a helping hand can make real change in someone’s life."

Jorge Tejeda shares his experience working for GOAL in Latin America over the last ten years.