ABU DHABI, August 19, 2021- Marking the World Humanitarian Day, Dubai Burj Khalifa lights up with #TheHumanRace, this year’s campaign slogan was launched by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) earlier this month staging a global challenge to put the needs of climate-vulnerable people front and centre.
The climate emergency is wreaking havoc across the world at a scale that the humanitarian community and people on the front lines cannot manage. Time is already running out for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people – those who have contributed least to the global climate emergency but are hit the hardest. Media reports tell stories of people who have lost their homes, livelihoods and lives. Those are just glimpse of what lies ahead if we fail to properly adapt the climate change while we are racing time.
Lighting Burj Khalifa comes within the framework of the fruitful cooperation between the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UAE has always played a major role in supporting 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.
The United Arab Emirates ranked fourth among donor countries to OCHA Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in the first half of 2021. CERF provides a lifeline to victims of natural disasters and conflicts. UAE total contribution to the fund since its establishment in 2006 has reached more than 20.1 million US Dollars. The UAE also supported regional crises, ranked third among the top 10 donors to the Yemeni crisis, with its contribution this year amounting to more than USD 231.64 million, with a total of more than USD 4 billion since the beginning of the crisis, in order to enable humanitarian agencies to provide life-saving assistance in the areas of health, food, protection services, education and others. Additionally, the UAE also supported the humanitarian response in other countries such as Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.
On 19 August 2003, a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary- General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Five years later, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 19 August as World Humanitarian Day (WHD).
Each year, WHD focuses on a theme, bringing together partners from across the humanitarian system to advocate for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises, and for the safety and security of aid workers.
This year, we highlight the immediate human cost of the climate crisis by pressuring world leaders to take meaningful climate action for the world’s most vulnerable people.
For More information:
Ghalia Seifo | Regional Public Information Officer | Middle East and North Africa | United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Mobile: +1 (437)855-9000
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.