Statement by the Secretary General on record number of attacks on aid workers

Published 17. Aug 2020
Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said:

"From Syria to South Sudan, record numbers of our colleagues in conflict zones across the globe are under attack. We serve the world’s most vulnerable people with food, water and shelter, yet we are increasingly in the line of fire for trying to save lives.

"We cannot do our jobs when we risk being bombed, murdered or kidnapped.

"International humanitarian law must be upheld and respected, not flouted by warring parties that opt in and out at will. Those who attack us are not operating in a vacuum. They receive arms, funding and logistics from all over the world. Regional economic, political and military actors can help end the impunity.

"Today’s new reality of the coronavirus makes delivering aid even more dangerous. With a silent killer on the loose and restrictions on our movements to communities in need; we need diplomats, military, religious and political leaders to do more to protect our field workers from armed violence. They are not a target."