"These real life heroes deserve our gratitude every single day," were the words of Fiji’s Minister of Rural & Maritime Development & Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu at World Humanitarian Day celebrations in Suva yesterday.
The selfless efforts of humanitarians and medical front line workers were acknowledged at the celebrations.
Minister Seruiratu underlined the seriousness of COVID-19 containment efforts and the continuing impacts of climate change on Fijian communities and local humanitarian workers.
“In the case of Fiji, given the ever present threat of COVID-19, I ask our people to celebrate this World Humanitarian Day by thinking seriously about how each of us can keep our people safe from this pandemic,” he said.
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha echoed his comments.
“We can never go back to life the way it used to be…” Samarasinha stated. “Continuing to live our lives the way we did before will only lead to expansion of crises.”
The current global pandemic continues to affect humanitarian approaches by aid workers and front liners around the world, and the Pacific is no exception.
The Fiji Red Cross Society recognised its 700 volunteers for their selfless efforts and perservence during theTropical Cyclone Harold response and COVID-19 lockdown.
Fiji Red Cross Society Director, Ilisapeci Rokotunidau said despite undergoing three cyclones, a measles outbreak and the current pandemic, volunteers still conduct their duties with a 'glimmer in their eyes'.
The theme for this year’s celebrations was #RealLifeHeroes and Fiji's Natural Disaster Management Office profiled some 50 real life heroes of the region.