New York – The U.S. spent more than seven billion dollars in 2016 to provide humanitarian assistance across the globe, the Department of State said on Friday.
Ms Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the Department, said this in a message to the World Humanitarian Day commemorated on August 19 every year.
Nauert regretted that violations of international law put aid workers in grave danger.
“The numbers tell a pretty tough story. An unprecedented number, 141.1 million people across 37 countries are now in immediate need of assistance.
“Just this week the United Nations confirmed that the number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda has topped one million people as the conflict in South Sudan has created the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.
“The United States has a long and distinguished history of helping people in need as a result of conflict and natural disasters.
“The United States and our humanitarian partners are responding to crises around the world, providing life-saving assistance to some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens.
“In 2016, the United States, the world’s leading humanitarian donour contributed more than seven billion dollars to humanitarian efforts around the globe,’’ she said.
The U.S. said as the world observed the 2016 Day, it remain committed to saving lives and recognise the tremendous service of all humanitarian heroes.
“This includes our brave aid workers and partners on the ground. And we want to thank them for their bravery and their work,’’ she said.
The World Humanitarian Day is observed annually on August 19 to pay tribute to aid workers who risked their lives in humanitarian service, and rally support for people affected by crises worldwide.
It was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the date of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad and Iraq, in which 22 staff were killed.
This year, humanitarian partners are coming together under the #NotATarget Campaign to highlight the need to protect civilians caught in conflicts, including humanitarian and medical workers. (NAN)