Statement on World Humanitarian Day

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on World Humanitarian Day, August 19, 2011
On World Humanitarian Day, we recognize the heroes who brave danger to deliver aid where it is most desperately needed. Humanitarians save lives, mitigate the cycle of chronic desperation that makes the world less safe, and embody values that Americans hold dear. The United States celebrates their hard work and calls upon all nations and parties to give them the support, protection, and access they need to relieve suffering.
Today in particular, we commend those who are addressing the impact of the massive drought in the Horn of Africa—the worst humanitarian emergency in the world today and the worst that East Africa has experienced in generations. The United States has responded by providing more than $580 million for humanitarian relief in the region this fiscal year. Americans can give by visiting UNICEF USA’s homepage at or texting “AID” to 27722, which gives $10 to relief efforts through the World Food Program. For more information about organizations working in the Horn of Africa, visit USAID ( [Gifts may also be given through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.]
Today, we are also reminded of the dangers faced by humanitarians in the field. It was eight years ago that 22 UN personnel, including the UN’s envoy to Iraq, died in a terrorist attack on the UN compound in Baghdad. We mourn every life lost in the service of peace and human dignity—including those who perished in this year’s tragic attack on the UN office in Mazar-i-Sharif and plane crash in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On World Humanitarian Day, let us honor the sacrifices of those who work steadfastly to carry out life-saving work.

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