Caritas Australia pays tribute to aid workers on World Humanitarian Day

Caritas Australia and members of the CAN DO consortium (Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations) have joined the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, in paying tribute to humanitarian aid workers around the globe to mark World Humanitarian Day.

Caritas Australia and CAN DO CEOs (Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations), attended Humanitarians in Action, a photography and video exhibition, launched today by Ms Bishop at Parliament House, Canberra.

“It is a day to consider the millions of civilians around the world whose lives have been caught up in conflict and disaster. We pay tribute to the brave humanitarian workers who have risked or lost their lives providing assistance and protection to those in need,” Ms Bishop said.

Caritas and the CAN DO network welcome the Australian government’s recognition of this important day. #WHD2018 #NotATarget

This World Humanitarian Day, we reflect on the work of our humanitarian staff and partners in responding to emergencies in the Pacific region. CAN DO is currently responding to the ongoing needs of people dislocated by the Ambae Island volcano in Vanuatu and by the magnitude-7.5 earthquake which hit a remote area of Papua New Guinea’s Highlands in February.

In Vanuatu, CAN DO is providing life-saving protection, through the provision of dignity kits to girls and women (menstrual hygiene products) and psychological first aid. In PNG, we are providing lifesaving water solutions which will benefit communities in the long term.

“Through the coordinated action of its members, CAN DO is able to achieve faster responses and better outcomes for the people affected by these disasters – and to prepare for disasters of the future,” says Melville Fernandez, Caritas Australia’s Manager of Humanitarian Emergencies.

Caritas Australia is the lead agency of CAN DO, an Australian consortium of humanitarian response agencies which also comprises of Act for Peace, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency Australia, Anglican Board of Mission, Anglican Overseas Aid, the Australian Lutheran World Service, Transform Aid International and Uniting World.

CAN DO is a member of the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) between the Australian Government and some of Australia’s leading international development NGOs.

To donate to Caritas Australia’s Emergency Response Fund providing emergency relief to communities impacted by recent disasters, please go to

Caritas media contact: