World Humanitarian Day 2014: "People of Ukraine are the humanitarian heroes"

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19 August 2014 – Today the world observes World Humanitarian Day, to recognize those who face danger and adversity in helping others, and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe. Echoing this year’s theme, “The World Needs More Humanitarian Heroes”, the United Nations in Ukraine salutes the efforts of the Government of Ukraine, civil society and various humanitarian actors for their efforts in alleviating the suffering of the people affected by the current challenges facing the country.

“The United Nations would like to praise Ukraine’s individuals who make an incredible contribution to solving the many pressing issues and provide support to affected populations, often risking their own lives”, said Mr.Toyberg-Frandzen.

But more needs to be done to help the people get back to normalcy. As the crisis goes on, increasing numbers of people are leaving their homes in search of safety, and local coping capacities are stretched.

“We recognize the Government’s potential in restoring livelihoods in the affected areas,” said Mr.Toyberg-Frandzen, “Stories of the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk attest to that: shortly after being retaken, the cities saw their infrastructure rebuilt, electricity supply restored, and, most importantly, the affected people provided with food and health facilities”.

In this difficult situation, the United Nations in Ukraine is launching the Preliminary Response Plan to support the Government in addressing immediate and longer-term needs. The plan builds on the assistance delivered by various UN agencies so far, including UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF and WHO.

In his address on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, the UN Secretary-General said: “Today we honour the heroic aid workers who rush bravely to help people in need. We remember their sacrifices, and we recognize the millions of people who count on humanitarian workers for their very survival. Let us honour the fallen by protecting those who carry on their work – and supporting humanitarian relief operations worldwide”.