Press release

International Development Secretary thanks British aid workers

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has praised the heroic work of British aid workers on World Humanitarian Day (Sunday 19 August).


International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt thanked British aid workers and taxpayers for the role that they have played in delivering lifesaving UK aid to humanitarian emergencies around the world over the last 12 months.

These UK aid achievements include:

  • supporting the first ever cholera vaccination campaign in Yemen, helping protect more than 450,000 men, women and children from the largest ever global outbreak of this deadly disease;

  • remaining at the forefront of the humanitarian response in Syria, helping those in greatest need by providing life-saving food, shelter and water to millions of Syrians;

  • deploying the UK’s Emergency Medical Team to help curb the outbreak of deadly diphtheria amongst Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh;

  • acting fast to tackle outbreaks of Ebola in the DRC, supplying vaccines and deploying a rapid support team of experts to contain the disease and stop it spreading further;

  • responding swiftly in the Sahel to treat over 200,000 malnourished children, provide food to over 100,000 people, and water and sanitation to over 500,000 people; and

  • delivered 827 tonnes of urgent humanitarian supplies – including food, water, and shelter – and deployed over 70 humanitarian and logistics experts to coordinate the relief effort in response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean.

In support of the United Nations’ #NotaTarget movement, Ms Mordaunt also called for the protection of civilians and aid workers working in conflict zones around the world.

This includes those being deliberately targeted in war-torn Syria and Yemen, in a blatant breach of international humanitarian law.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

British humanitarians and the support of UK taxpayers have this year made an incredible contribution to saving lives and alleviating suffering in some of the most horrific disaster zones around the world.

On World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to the heroic aid workers who continue to selflessly put the needs of the world’s poorest people ahead of their own.

Tragically 170 aid workers have already been injured, abducted or killed this year while delivering live saving assistance. Aid workers cannot be a target and the UK calls for warring parties to adhere to international humanitarian law and protect them.

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Published 19 August 2018