Heather Fabrikant, Program Officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Washington, DC
August 19, 2013

This year's World Humanitarian Day, August 19, is particularly meaningful to me, having just returned from an extended assignment in Turkey for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. I was there contributing to the effort to assist vulnerable refugees - mostly women and children - fleeing the violence in Syria. While the US government has provided over one billion dollars in assistance, a number cannot sufficiently describe the daily acts of heroism of vast numbers of UN, Red Cross and Red Crescent and NGO workers committed to assisting the most needy victims of the civil war. Many humanitarian workers risk their lives to provide lifesaving medical and mental health care. Others work diligently to help ensure urgent material needs, including food and shelter, are met. On this day, I remember the humanitarian heroes working in Syria and its neighboring countries to help protect and provide for millions of vulnerable conflict victims.