19 August is World Humanitarian Day, the UN-designated day which recognises all humanitarian workers, and was established to mark the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, when 22 people lost their lives.
The UK has given over £11.5 million (2.1 billion rupees) since 2010 to help Sri Lanka’s post-war recovery. The UK also contributes approximately 15% towards EU assistance.
British Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Laura Davies, said:
‘On World Humanitarian Day, we recognise and remember those who face danger and adversity in order to help others.
Our news screens are filled with images of brave and dedicated men and women responding in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, helping those who have lost everything in natural or manmade disasters and conflicts. But this work continues long after the film crews have left. In Sri Lanka, for example, humanitarian assistance continues still today in crucial areas such as demining. This is a vital step in restoring safety and normality to communities. That’s why the UK government is funding demining work.
Today, to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe, I particularly thank the Sri Lankan demining workers – many of them women – who are making such an essential contribution to Sri Lanka’s long term recovery from conflict.’