Local faces of SDC humanitarian aid
19 August is World Humanitarian Day – a time to shine a spotlight on the people working to help communities in need. Larsan Traore in Mali and Michelle Jalkh in Lebanon belong to the ranks of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)'s local staff. Here they talk about their work and commitment in the humanitarian field.
Michelle Jalkh (second from left) on a field visit in Akkar, Lebanon. The SDC supports the Lebanon Red Cross in rehabilitating water and sanitation facilities.
Larsan Traore works as a national programme officer in the field of protection at the cooperation office in Bamako. Mali has been affected by a security and humanitarian crisis for many years. The situation in the country remains fragile due to the activities of armed groups and difficult climatic conditions that have led to severe drought. Humanitarian work on the ground is essential. Larsan Traore's commitment helps to support the local population, especially in the areas of protection and food security.
Michelle Jalkh is the national programme officer for water and sanitation at the Swiss Embassy in Beirut and has been working with the SDC since 2011. Lebanon, already economically weakened, is suffering the consequences of the explosion in the port of Beirut in August 2020. Humanitarian engagement on the ground is also essential. Michelle Jalkh encourages humanitarian aid workers to find ways to look after their own mental and physical health. This is a prerequisite if they are to be able to assist other people.
World Humanitarian Day, SDC tribute
The UN's World Humanitarian Day is celebrated every year on 19 August. It is a time to shine a spotlight on the people working to help communities in need.
Humanitarian workers provide vital assistance in extraordinary situations and disasters, often at great personal risk.
Supporting people who are in need or affected by a crisis or disaster is one of the SDC's top priorities.