Statement On the Occasion of World Humanitarian Day

On World Humanitarian Day, we honor the humanitarian aid workers who have sacrificed so much to protect and assist the world’s most vulnerable populations.  We commend the bravery and compassion of those who put the welfare of others before their own.  We are grateful for humanitarians around the world who continue to work in harsh environments, often at great risk to their lives.

For the world’s most vulnerable people, the impacts of humanitarian crises have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crises, civil unrest, and war.  Humanitarians have ensured their access to healthcare and addressed the effects of hunger, gender-based violence, mental health concerns, and other challenges that disproportionately affect displaced and marginalized communities.  Humanitarian workers are lifelines who provide hope, often in the most dangerous of circumstances, and the world needs them now more than ever.

Tragically, global humanitarian crises are growing.  Conflict and natural disasters have forced historic numbers of people to flee their homes.  Humanitarian workers have been targeted for violence or killed, even as they provide lifesaving assistance.  Their work is dangerous – and essential.

The United States  is the world’s single largest humanitarian donor.  Last year alone, thanks to the generosity of the American people, we provided nearly $13 billion for protection services, food, shelter, healthcare, education, safe drinking water, and sanitation for people in need.  This assistance helped tens of millions of crisis-affected people worldwide.

The United States is dedicated to resolving humanitarian crises through coordinated international responses.  We encourage other nations to contribute to meeting global humanitarian needs.  We call for immediate, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to vulnerable populations, including across conflict lines, so they may deliver aid and services without interference.

The United States will continue to support the vital work humanitarians carry out around the world every day.  We are proud to recognize dedicated humanitarian aid workers.