No fewer than 130 million people depend on humanitarian aid to survive, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his message for the 2016 World Humanitarian Day campaign.
The Day is commemorated on August 19 and the theme for this year’s campaign is ‘World You’d Rather’.
“A record 130 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive. Grouped together, these people in need would comprise the tenth most populous nation on Earth.
“These figures are truly staggering, yet they tell only a fraction of the story. Hidden behind the statistics are individuals, families and communities whose lives have been devastated.
“People no different to you and me: children, women and men who face impossible choices every day,” he said.
Ban regretted that grouped in the category of those who required aid to survive were parents who faced difficulties and risks to make choices for their families to survive.
“They are parents who must choose between buying food or medicine for their children; children who must choose between school or working to support their families.
“They are families who must risk bombing at home or a perilous escape by sea,” he said.
According to him, the solutions to the crises that have plunged these people into such desperate hardship are neither simple nor quick.
“But, there are things we can all do — today, and every day. We can show compassion, we can raise our voices against injustice and we can work for change.”
He paid tribute to the “dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk.
“I urge everyone to sign on to the UN “World You’d Rather” campaign as well as raising awareness and building empathy; the campaign has a concrete goal.”
Ban listed the goal of the campaign as: to raise money for the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and enrol support of individuals everywhere as Messengers of Humanity.
According to him, the UN needs everybody to demand that their societies and governments put humanity first.
“To succeed on this collective journey, we need everyone to play their part. Each one of us can make a difference.
“On this World Humanitarian Day, let us unite in the name of humanity and show that we cannot and will not leave anyone behind.
“World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering.
“It is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the front lines of crises.”