Statement by Minister Monsef on World Humanitarian Day


August 19, 2019 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, today issued the following statement:

“On World Humanitarian Day, let us all take a moment to think about the humanitarian workers who stand in harm’s way every single day to help save lives. They protect the dignity and alleviate the suffering of millions of people around the world affected by crisis and conflict. World Humanitarian Day is about honouring all humanitarian workers who risk their lives in service, including those who have died in the line of duty. Humanitarian workers face threats, attacks and violence, and yet they do their work with passion, conviction and courage. They deserve our gratitude and utmost respect.

“The focus of this year’s World Humanitarian Day is women humanitarians. Canada is proud to be an advocate for more women humanitarian workers in the field and at the highest levels across the humanitarian system. Good leadership is critical in delivering life-saving assistance in difficult contexts, and today we celebrate the leadership of countless women humanitarians around the world.

“We know that women and girls bear the brunt of too many crises. But what is perhaps less known is that women and girls also show remarkable resilience and strength in the face of these challenges. They have agency and expertise, and with the right support, resources and opportunities, they have the potential to be powerful agents of positive change.

“Canada’s new gender-responsive humanitarian action policy, A Feminist Approach: Gender Equality in Humanitarian Action, sets out four key areas of focus for Canada: upholding humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law; preventing, mitigating and responding to sexual and gender-based violence; advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights; and promoting the empowerment of women and girls. This policy is based on the belief that our humanitarian efforts must not stop at saving lives, but should also transform them for the better.

“Canada has always, and will always, support humanitarian action that is needs-based, neutral, impartial and independent. On World Humanitarian Day, we honour and thank the thousands of humanitarian workers around the world who work tirelessly, at great personal risk, to uphold these principles.”


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