Dubai: The world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, joined the world in marking the World Humanitarian Day (WHD) on the night of Friday, August 19, by lighting up with #ItTakesAVillage, this year’s campaign slogan that was launched by the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) earlier this month.
The slogan carries the goal of showing the effectiveness and the positive impact of humanitarian work and celebrating people who come together to ease suffering and bring hope.
“Lighting Burj Khalifa with the WHD logo and campaign slogan for the second consecutive year demonstrates the solid partnership between the government of the UAE and UN-OCHA. For years, the UAE has provided life-saving humanitarian assistance in major crises around the world, with a significant governmental response represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Emirates Red Crescent,” said a statement from OCHA sent to Gulf News on Friday.
OCHA noted that the UAE has ranked among its top donors in the last five years. In 2022, UAE has allocated a total of $293.9m (around Dh1.07 billion) to fund a number of regional crises in Ethiopia, Yemen, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Ukraine, Somalia, Afghanistan, and others. These funds enable humanitarian agencies to provide life-saving assistance in the different areas, health, food, protection services, education, and others.
Day for humanitarian workers
Celebrating WHD is aimed at putting the spotlight on the “thousands of volunteers, professionals and crisis-affected people who deliver urgent health care, shelter, food, protection, water and more to people in need”.
Established by the UN General Assembly in 2009, the day commemorates the anniversary of the bombing of Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq on Aug. 19, 2003 that killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Each year, WHD focuses on a theme, advocating for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises, and for the safety and security of aid workers.
This year’s campaign #ItTakesAVillage highlights the breadth and depth of humanitarian work, just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole community to help people in need.
OCHA said: “In an emergency, the first people to respond are always crisis-affected people themselves. They are joined by local volunteers, emergency services, local and national authorities, NGOs, UN agencies, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent, among many others.
The aid community is grappling with the toll of the devastating combination of conflicts, the climate emergency, the continued toll of the pandemic and rising poverty causing the number of people who need humanitarian assistance to reach a record 303 million. As this mega crisis continues, humanitarian workers step up to respond every day by providing food and cash, health and clean water, protection services and much more. Because as the saying goes, #ItTakesAVillage.”