Dr. Hande Harmanci appointed as Representative of the World Health Organization in Azerbaijan

BAKU, 13 September – Dr. Hande Harmanci of Turkey took up her appointment as the new Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Azerbaijan.

Dr. Harmanci is a public health manager with 28 years of experience at the national and global levels with a medical and public health teaching and research background, alongside being alumni of ‘UN Women Leaders’.

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Harmanci has had 13 years of experience in WHO in three different clusters. She joined WHO Headquarters as special advisor on medical education, being responsible for strengthening medical curricula. She also worked as a team lead on preparedness, information and training within the Global Influenza Programme when the world was hit with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. From 2011 to 2018, Dr. Harmanci worked at the Global Hepatitis Programme. As one of the founding members of this programme, she worked on the global strategy on eliminating viral hepatitis, which aimed at supporting countries to reach the global targets and coordinating WHO Collaborating Centres on viral hepatitis.

Prior to joining the WHO, Dr. Harmanci served as a professor of public health in Marmara University and the deputy director of health services in a district of Istanbul from 1994 to 2005.

Dr. Harmanci is also a “Master Trainer” of adult education and training, instructional designer and facilitator.

She speaks English, Turkish and French languages.

On World Humanitarian Day, the Secretary-General calls on global leaders to use their power to protect people in conflicts

We mark World Humanitarian Day every year on 19 August, to express solidarity with people affected      by humanitarian crises and pay tribute to the humanitarian workers who help them.

This year’s commemoration marks the fifteenth anniversary since the attack on the United Nations in Baghdad, Iraq, in which 22 of our colleagues were killed. Since that tragedy, which led to this day’s designation as World Humanitarian Day, over 4,000 aid workers have been killed, injured, detained or kidnapped. That is an average of 300 fellow humanitarians killed, detained or injured every year.

Civilians in conflict zones also continue to be killed and maimed, deliberately or in indiscriminate attacks. Last year, the United Nations recorded the deaths or injuries of more than 26,000 civilians in attacks in just six countries: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.

Around the world, conflict is forcing record numbers of people from their homes, with over 65 million people now displaced. Children are recruited by armed groups and used to fight. Women are abused and humiliated. As humanitarian workers deliver aid and medical workers provide for those in need, they are all too often targeted or treated as threats.

On World Humanitarian Day, I call on global leaders to do everything in their power to protect people caught up in conflict.

And I call on all who are concerned to join our campaign at worldhumanitarianday.org to show that civilians are #NotATarget.

Together, we stand in solidarity with civilians in conflict, and with the humanitarian workers who risk their lives to help them.


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September 2020
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