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World Humanitarian Day I: Remembering the Unsung Heroes

World Humanitarian Day I: Remembering the Unsung Heroes

Liz Bloomfield, Director of Humanitarian Programs

Today on World Humanitarian Day, we celebrate humanitarians who risk their lives in service around the globe. As Director of Humanitarian Programs at Airlink, my engagement with our nonprofit partner network frequently exposes me to their extraordinary courage and conviction in support of communities in crisis. The unsung heroes are often the community-level first responders, playing a pivotal role from the immediate aftermath of a disaster until long after it falls out of the headlines. Nonprofit organizations at a local, national and international level are also instrumental in supporting local communities as they get back on their feet. Many of these responders are volunteers, who may be balancing demanding full-time jobs and family commitments, yet are willing to drop everything and run towards danger when disaster strikes. This week you’ll be hearing more from one of our partners GoDocs  about their ongoing work in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

This year, particular attention is focused on recognizing the role of women in humanitarian response, and throughout my career I’ve had the privilege of spending time in the company of many remarkable women. The quiet strength and dignity of the women of Mozambique following Cyclone Idai remains an enduring memory. Survivors, community leaders, and humanitarian responders alike, these resilient women were united in their unwavering determination to return affected communities to normal.

   

While today we focus primarily on the front lines of humanitarian response, it would be remiss not to also acknowledge the diversity of enablers that make this work possible. Every day I am humbled by the willingness of people to step up and support those in need, at an individual and organizational level across Airlink’s network of aviation, logistics, corporate, and private supporters. Yet it is essential that such compassion be channeled carefully. Effective humanitarian response requires exceptional levels of collaboration and coordination, especially as it relates to logistics. Where done well, appropriately qualified experts and relevant supplies arrive on the ground quickly, to reinforce local efforts to address identified humanitarian needs. At its worst, poor logistics only contributes to an already dire situation. Thanks to our network of supporters, Airlink works to provide expert and enabling logistics capacity that allows local responders and humanitarians to focus on saving and changing lives.

Today Airlink and its partners honor humanitarians around the world for their dedication and sacrifice to be there for communities in crisis during their darkest hour. Thank you for all that you do.

 

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