19 Aug 2014

Focus on aid workers on World Humanitarian Day

4:11 pm on 19 August 2014

The head of a New Zealand aid group says many aid workers end up in risky situations and some are losing their lives.

Caritas' Mark Mitchell, who is a spokesperson for the Disaster Relief forum, says this is the focus of today's World Humanitarian Day.

The Forum says New Zealanders donate nearly 150 million US dollars each year to development NGOs and a large slice of that goes to providing relief to cyclone, flood and earthquake survivors, as well as those displaced by conflict.

Mr Mitchell says this region is one of the most at risk from natural disasters, but this year there are unprecedented disasters occurring in Gaza, South Sudan, Iraq and many, many other places around the world.

"We are just wanting to promote the situation that we have a responsibility to assist, that we can assist through our organisations and we have many people on the ground who are doing that and sacrificing a lot."

A spokesperson for the Disaster Relief Forum, Mark Mitchell