Honoring Humanitarian Workers By Improving Development Aid Solutions

Noting World Humanitarian Day was recognized on August 19, the anniversary of a bomb attack on Baghdad that killed more than 20 aid workers, Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Social Entrepreneurship” blog, “The humanitarian climate is changing under the influence of the economic troubles and growing skepticism about the effectiveness of development aid. It is perfectly acceptable, even necessary, to take a critical look at how we structure development aid and cooperation, but we cannot stand by idly when people are in danger of losing their lives and emergency aid is really needed. In such cases we must take our responsibility.” He discusses how DSM is working with the World Food Programme to improve humanitarian food aid, teaching local people, and addressing climate change. Sijbesma concludes, “Let us honor all these thousands of aid workers this week and show them that we appreciate their work and are ready to support it. But let us also not forget to take our responsibility on all other days of the year and jointly work towards an urgently needed ‘humanitarian climate change’ by supporting them and by developing structural solutions” (8/21).