GROWING NEED TO MITIGATE RISKS TO HUMANITARIAN AND HEALTH WORKERS IN UK & INTERNATIONAL AID SECTOR

On 6th August 2019, under UK Politics on the BBC News website, an article was published, reporting how “strong leadership” from the UK is needed to safeguard aid and healthcare workers from the growing incidence of violence against them. The statistics from the Aid Worker Security Database cite 221 separate incidents of violence against aid workers in 2018, which resulted in 126 deaths and 143 injuries, all of which highlights how aid and healthcare missions are at risk.

The trend detailed above is echoed by the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, which is an international group of non-governmental organizations, formed to protect aid workers, services and infrastructure. Their figures include 973 recorded attacks on healthcare personnel and facilities, together with 710 injuries and 167 fatalities.

These statistics are prompting an imperative response from the UK Government, because nobody wants to see a decline in the provision of humanitarian aid and healthcare in countries, where such help is so necessary.

However, from the Staff Defence perspective, we strongly assert that our Travel Safe courses, in particular the Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) course is invaluable in helping aid and healthcare workers in keeping themselves safe and secure in challenging situations. Our training venue near Rugby has been designed to mimic a third world environment, together with our real world, role-play scenarios. Many previous Delegates have told us how authentic the HEAT course is, in particular, and how it prepared them so well in their travels to inhospitable regions.

Most importantly, we utilise Instructors who have a background in serving in third world countries, so they have “hands-on” experience of life in hostile and challenging environments, often faced in third world countries.

Therefore, we strongly recommend that employers, who have a duty of care to their employees, contact us to arrange for their employees to attend our HEAT course and allow them to benefit from our knowledge, experience and training expertise. If doing this one simple act goes toward saving just one life, surely it is worth it?