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One billion messages shared for World Humanitarian Day

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(New York, 19 August 2012): The World Humanitarian Day 2012 campaign has made social media history by sharing more than one billion messages of hope encouraging people to do something good for someone else.

The campaign, which launched 2 August, asked people around the world to pledge to help another person on World Humanitarian Day.

“There are seven billion people in the world and we reached hundreds of millions of them with our message. People really care,” said Valerie Amos, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

At 9 am (Eastern Standard Time) on 19 August more than one billion messages were shared at the same time: “This World Humanitarian Day I’m doing something good, somewhere, for someone else. Join Me!” Upon navigating to www.whd-iwashere.org, people can now mark their good deed on a global interactive map.

“Thanks to the amazing work of Beyoncé and our partners, we now have a global commitment to humanitarian action. The message of people helping people is universal. Making your mark and saying "I Was Here" resonates powerfully with people all over the world,” said Ms. Amos.

The campaign numbers soared following the release of the ‘I Was Here’ music video by Beyoncé on 18 August, whose support for the cause, alongside other major brands and celebrities, put this campaign on the global stage.

“I feel like we all want to know that our life meant something and that we did something for someone else. That we spread positivity no matter how big or how small,” said Beyoncé in the lead up to World Humanitarian Day.

In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated 19 August World Humanitarian Day to raise awareness of humanitarian action; recognize people who risk their lives to help people in need, and mark the day when 22 humanitarians lost their lives in an attack on the UN offices in Baghdad. "World Humanitarian Day honours the many fallen aid workers we mourn today, and celebrates the efforts of others who carry on their noble mission," said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The success of this campaign would not have been possible without the partnerships with advertising agency Droga5, Parkwood Entertainment, production company Ridley Scott & Associates, directors Kenzo Digital and Sophie Muller, MTV, Sony Music Entertainment, Toshiba, and especially the humanitarian community and people around the world.

“This campaign for World Humanitarian Day was an amazing collaboration between people all over the world,” said David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman, Droga5. “At first, a billion may have seemed too ambitious, but ‘good’ is an uncanny motivation.”

For more information, please contact:

Kirsten Mildren, WHD Spokesperson, mildren@un.org, +1 646 675 6398

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.