Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on World Humanitarian Day

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
August 19, 2023

Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on World Humanitarian Day

This year, on World Humanitarian Day, we celebrate those who dedicate their lives to improving the welfare of people suffering around the world. Through selfless action, they demonstrate the best of humanity. We also pause to remember the 2003 terrorist attack on a UN compound that inspired this day and reminds us of the danger associated with humanitarian work.

Today, humanitarian workers are targeted simply for doing their jobs. It’s unacceptable. According to the Aid Worker Security Database, in 2022, more than 440 humanitarian workers were attacked – and 116 lost their lives. Last December, the United States proudly co-sponsored a UN General Assembly resolution on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and the protection of UN personnel. And we will continue our longstanding work to facilitate the safe and secure delivery of humanitarian aid.

As the world’s largest humanitarian donor, the United States remains committed to providing assistance where needed. In July, Secretary Blinken announced $380 million in humanitarian assistance to Africa, bringing our year-to-date worldwide humanitarian assistance total to more than $4 billion. We have also taken action to ensure that aid delivery is not impeded by sanctions programs, co-drafting a UN Security Council resolution ensuring that food, medicine, and humanitarian assistance are not affected by UN sanctions.

Reaching communities in greatest need would not be possible without devoted aid workers. As someone who has been working on humanitarian issues for nearly 40 years, I have seen their sacrifice firsthand, as they risk their own lives to save others. Over the coming year, let us all do everything in our power to advance the safety and security of courageous aid workers – and support their life-saving work.