When more than 125 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, it’s clear the international community must do more to end suffering and strengthen resilience. Behind this number are real people – mothers like Inas who fled Syria with her daughters and now relies on food aid to feed her family and couples like Ibrahim and Hauna who married in a refugee camp after being forced to leave their homes in Nigeria because of extremists.
What happens in one part of the world matters to all of us – because we are members of the same human family and because our world is more connected than ever and instability can spread.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on each of us “to make humanity our common cause” and is convening the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit on May 23-24 in Istanbul to spur greater dialogue and action around addressing humanitarian challenges.
No one organization or sector can fix this problem alone, so the UN is bringing together leaders from the private sector, governments, aid organizations, and affected communities to renew our commitment to humanity and put people at the center of our efforts.
The United Nations Foundation is joining to focus on concrete actions we can take to better address humanitarian crises – from engaging the private sector, to collecting better data on the lives of girls and women in emergencies, to expanding access to modern energy services and cleaner cookstoves to people displaced from their homes.
There is a lot that needs to be done and improved to meet today’s humanitarian challenges, and the World Humanitarian Summit is an important moment in an ongoing dialogue on how the world can do better. We must continue to build on this momentum and redouble our efforts in the coming months and years, including at a UN General Assembly high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, to be held in September.
This humanitarian crisis didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight, but we can and must start laying the foundation for change.
Last year, world leaders made a bold commitment to “leave no one behind” when they adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. To fulfill this promise, we must meet the needs and secure the rights of people devastated by conflict and disaster. Each of us can support the UN’s work to help people who are suffering from forces beyond their control.
To learn more about the World Humanitarian Summit, follow @WHSummit on Twitter, and raise your voice to let your friends, families, and communities know that you care about helping the 125 million people in need. Use hashtag #ShareHumanity to join the dialogue.
Also tune in on Monday, May 23 at 7:00pm Istanbul time/12:00pm Eastern time to watch a readout from Day One of the summit, followed by panel discussions on what needs to be done to meet humanitarian needs. Click here to watch.
[Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans]
By: Susan Myers, the UN Foundation’s Senior Vice President.