Today, Foreign Minister Felipe Solá, along with the President of the White Helmets Commission, Marina Cardelli, headed the event commemorating World Humanitarian Day, which recognised volunteers that took part in humanitarian actions in Argentina and abroad, especially during the global health emergency caused by the pandemic.
“White Helmets displays willingness for immediate, quick action that is as comprehensive as possible. They are present where they need to be and they are a priceless testimony from a moral, ethical and solidarity standpoint,” Solá stated. He also highlighted “the versatile and diverse knowledge of their volunteers, whose experience strengthens the agency, thereby significantly enhancing its reaction capacity.”
Addressing a group of volunteers, representatives of international aid organizations and Argentine officials, Solá stressed the key role of this agency as the implementer of Argentina’s humanitarian aid foreign policy, adding that “in the future the world will require more and more multilateralism and commitment, presence and unity” to provide assistance to countries going through humanitarian crises.
“I hope we can extend the feeling of solidarity, because many Argentines have contained energy that could be expressed if they embraced this solidarity,” he stated.
Marina Cardelli in turn stated that “since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1.600 volunteers have been deployed in different places; they are the essence and heart of the White Helmets, and without them, Argentina’s humanitarian aid foreign policy could not be carried out.”
During the last year and a half, within the context of the critical situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in the frequency and scale of socio-natural disasters, White Helmets conducted many operations, both in Argentina and internationally. “The men and women of White Helmets have made a great effort during this highly adverse context. The need for humanitarian response has increased greatly. Humanitarian challenges are more and more frequent, and they demand more effort from our humanitarian actors, which represents an immense challenge for the future,” Cardelli added.
World Humanitarian Day is commemorated every August 19 since 2009, for the purpose of raising awareness around the world and paying homage to the people risking their lives to provide aid. This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in memory of the 19 August 2003 terrorist attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad, which killed 22 people.
The event was attended by the Chief of the Private Office of the Foreign Ministry, Guillermo J. Chaves; the Deputy Foreign Minister, Pablo Tettamanti; the Undersecretary for Latin American Affairs, Juan Valle Raleigh, and the Undersecretary for Mercosur and International Economic Negotiations, Rossana Cecilia Surballe, among others.
Jesica Braver, from the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Argentina; Diego Tipping, the President of Red Cross Argentina; Alexandre Claudon, Representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and Marina Rustán, the President of Scouts Argentina, were also present.
White Helmets is the agency of the Argentine Foreign Ministry in charge of designing and implementing humanitarian aid, response to emergencies, comprehensive disaster risk management and Argentina’s international contribution to sustainable development. The agency acts during disasters at the request of an affected State or as part of an international appeal.