On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day 2019, which falls today Monday 19th August, HLA would like to recognise the incredible collective contribution from its thousands-strong association comprising of members, partners and sponsors, and volunteers, trustees and advisors. In keeping with the focus of this year’s event, we honour and highlight the remarkable commitment of women humanitarian leaders from our network, who have worked tirelessly all over the world for decades to ensure that (women) beneficiaries – who comprise the most vulnerable group of aid recipients – are considered in humanitarian efforts specifically.

The dedication of our network of humanitarian (logisticians), supply chain specialists, and aid workers to continuous learning and to the development and sharing of knowledge, resources and capacity has led to a marked improvement in the professionalisation of the sector over the past year. HLA’s  events, surveys and assessments, knowledge development efforts, webinars, and projects could not have been successful without the active contributions of the entire membership. Together, they truly embody the vision of HLA, which (as denoted in the tagline) is to making a difference to disaster. And indeed, we saw that in action, during the response in the southern African region earlier this year, with Cyclones Kenneth and Idai. The accomplishments of these responses, were in a significant way, directly attributable to their move to pool resources, and utilise lessons learned more effectively. Therefore, on the whole, we have also witnessed a commitment on the part of the key groups – private sector, government, academia, and NGOs – towards consolidating efforts in order to be more impactful, especially in the area of aviation logistics. Going forward, the aim of HLA is to continue to create avenues (including through the General Assembly and local chapters) to bring these actors together to take these discussions further, or to capitalize on external platforms provided (including AidEx, IDR Expo and Multimodal 2019),  multi-sectorally, to ensure that these discussions really translate into actions.

Lastly, we would like to commend the sector for their commitment to tackling the key issues that confront their work, including on protection challenges and environmental sustainability during emergency response. Now, the onus is on us all, to ensure that we make firm commitments to taking the hard steps to ensure that communities that we go to support during emergencies do not suffer harm from our presence there. We look forward to even more collaboration and improvement in our work over the next year. We dedicate all our successes to the memories of all the humanitarians who sadly lost their lives in the performance of their duties. We honour this ultimate sacrifice.