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NGO: Humanitarian projects need local helpers

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Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) – Humanitarian projects cannot exist without the help of local collaborators whose help is indispensable in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and other countries, Nada Aliova, from the Czech NGO People in Need, told journalists yesterday.
The knowledge of the local environment and language is such people’s biggest contribution, Aliova said.
In 2009, the United Nations declared a humanitarian day to honour the people who died during their humanitarian work.
It was set for August 22 to remember the 22 people who died in a bomb attack in Baghdad in 2003.
Without the locals, foreign organisations would only with difficulties help thousands of people, Aliova said.
“In Iraq, local employees are absolutely indispensable,” Aliova said.
“Thanks to the knowledge of local language and culture, they help us with orientation in the rather complicated environment of the country disrupted by a long-standing conflict and ethnic and social disputes,” Aliova said.
The People in Need NGO also cooperates with local employees in Syria, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic Congo, Angola, Nepal and Ukraine.
In a number of cases, people who fled danger become cooperators of NGOs.
Ukrainian Sergej Saenko helps transport people from the front areas in eastern Ukraine.
“Last year, we helped evacuate the residents of Avdeyevka at the time the town was strongly bombed. I remember that the shells were falling just behind my back,” Saenko said.
In Syria, afflicted by a civil war since 2011 with a serious implication of Islamic State, the programmes of the People in Need are controlled by a Syrian. Originally, he cooperated with it as an interpreter.
Hundreds of local humanitarian workers are used in the branches of the People in Need across the world.
“Out of our over 1150 collaborators who contribute to the work of the mission right in the place, there are on average eight foreign humanitarian workers including Czech men and women per 100 local employees,” Jan Mrkvicka, director of the Humanitarian and Development Section of the People in Need, said.
“In addition, we cooperate with over 100 local organisations,” Mrkvicka said.
These people are most often victims of violence and kidnappings, he added.
Nine local collaborators of the People in Need were murdered in Afghanistan last June.
Three local employees of the organisation died during the shelling of the civilian residential quarters of Halab in 2014.
According to the global database Aid Worker Security, 283 humanitarian worker were killed, kidnapped or injured last year.

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