World Humanitarian Day campaign passes the 100 million mark and sets its sights on one billion by 19 August 2012

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 13 Aug 2012

(New York, 13 August 2012): The global campaign that aims to make social media history by attempting to reach one billion people on 19 August to celebrate World Humanitarian Day has passed its first milestone – the 100 million mark.

The campaign jumped in momentum following a breathtaking live performance on Friday night at the United Nations General Assembly by Beyoncé, who sang “I Was Here” to more than 1,200 fans, celebrities, humanitarian workers and dignitaries. The video of the song, which Beyoncé and songwriter Diane Warren donated to the campaign, will premiere on 19 August.

Launched just 11 days ago, the campaign is creating a buzz with both high profile celebrities and the public at large, all united to celebrate World Humanitarian Day by doing something good for others on 19 August.

“Everyone can be a humanitarian. All it takes is one act to help someone else. That’s the spirit of people helping people,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, speaking at the event, which was hosted by television journalist Anderson Cooper and showcased the work of humanitarian aid workers around the world.

During the evening, Anderson Cooper interviewed former child soldier Ishmael Beah, who fought in Sierra Leone’s civil war; Pernille Ironside, a UNICEF child protection officer; New York photographer Erin Dinan, whose nonprofit organization One Sandwich at a Time feeds people living on the streets; and Laurent Vieira de Mello, whose father Sergio died along with 21 other humanitarians in an attack on the UN in Baghdad in 2003.

“The stories shared on Friday night served as important reminders of how crucial humanitarian work is around the world," said David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman, Droga5. "We now have an opportunity to celebrate these efforts by sending the biggest social media message for good in history. There’s no time to waste."

With less than six days to go, the campaign’s partners, including advertising agency Droga5, Parkwood Entertainment, production company Ridley Scott & Associates, director Kenzo Digital, Sony Music Entertainment and the humanitarian community will be calling on their global networks to ensure the world takes notice on World Humanitarian Day. How to show your support:

  1. Visit www.whd-iwashere.org and ‘Add Your Voice’ via Twitter, Facebook, or both, and get the word out to your friends and followers to do the same.

  2. On August 19th, make your mark by doing something good, somewhere, for someone else. Visit whd-iwashere.org for suggestions of how you can make a difference.

  3. Watch as everyone's messages are simultaneously shared around the world, along with a special World Humanitarian Day performance by Beyoncé.

Download campaign materials here:

http://whd-iwashere.org/public/pin

http://whd-iwashere.org/public/assets/Poster_main.pdf

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.