Accra – The United Nations in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) in Ghana have observed World Humanitarian Day on August 19, 2011. The event was marked with a brief ceremony in Accra and was attended by representatives of the UN agencies in Ghana, USAID and some public institutions.
The UN Secretary-General ‘s message to mark the day was read by the Resident Coordinator ad-interim and Country Director of World Food Program Ismail Omer. Reflecting on the significance of the Day to Ghana, Mr. Omer said recent Ghanaian returnees from Libya, the presence of over 17,000 Ivorian refugees in Ghana and the recent flooding that occurred in the Eastern region of the country call for a concerted effort by humanitarian organizations to ease the plight of victims. He said there is a need to shift humanitarian efforts from a response approach to a preparedness and preventive approach.
The National Coordinator of NADMO, the organization responsible for the management of disasters and similar emergencies in the country, Mr. Kofu Portuphy said though natural disasters cannot be prevented in certain instances, humanitarian agencies can do more to reduce the impact of such disasters. Furthermore, he called on humanitarian agencies to also support government initiatives that are aimed at curbing the incidence of disasters.
Both UN and Ghana lit a candle in honor of humanitarian aid workers across the world and a minute silence was observed for those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
An exhibition highlighting the involvement of some UN agencies in humanitarian work was mounted.