NEW YORK, 19th August, 2016 (WAM) – With a record 130 million people worldwide now dependent on humanitarian assistance, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that though solutions to the crises that plunged these people into such desperate hardship are neither simple nor quick, “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.”

“World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering,” Ki-moon said in his message on the day, which he said is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the frontlines of crises and pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk.

Noting that a record 130 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive, he said that while these figures are truly staggering, they tell only a fraction of the story. Hidden behind the statistics are individual’s families and communities whose lives have been devastated.

“From parents who must choose between buying food or medicine for their children to families who must risk bombing at home or a perilous escape by sea, their stories have led up to the creation of these initiatives,” the UN chief said.

“Today, I urge everyone to sign up for the United Nations World You’d Rather campaign, which is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Ki-moon said. The 17 global goals offer a 15-year plan to reduce need and vulnerability, promoting a world of peace, dignity and opportunity for all.

“We need everyone to play their part. Each one of us can make a difference,” Ki-moon continued.

Earlier this year, 9,000 participants gathered in Istanbul for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit. World leaders committed to transform the lives of people living in conflict, disaster and acute vulnerability. They rallied behind the Agenda for Humanity and its pledge to leave no one behind.

The secretary-general encouraged involvement as well as raising awareness and building empathy. The new campaign has a concrete goal, and that is to raise money for the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and to enrol the support of individuals everywhere as Messengers of Humanity.

“On this World Humanitarian Day, let us unite in the name of humanity and show that we cannot and will not leave anyone behind,” the secretary-general said.