Last year, when I heard about World Humanitarian Day for the first time, my first impulse was that this sounded pretty self-righteous. I mean, where is the World Firemen Day or the World Truckdriver Day? Two professions that are very dangerous and that probably contribute more to people’s lives than most professional aid workers do.
Since then I have changed my minds slightly. For one thing, there is never anything objectionable about remembering colleagues who have died. But more importantly I think that this day is not only about professional aid workers. For me it is about everybody who takes risks to help other people. And that can be a Red Cross Red Crescent volunteer, a UN staff member, a teacher, an imam or a truck driver. And in that sense I’m very happy to celebrate World Humanitarian Day.