World Humanitarian Day

Press Statement
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 19, 2018


Today, on World Humanitarian Day, we recognize the commitment and dedication of humanitarian aid workers who risk everything to serve those in need, and we honor those who have lost their lives to protect the world’s most vulnerable people.

The United States has a long and distinguished history of helping people in need as a result of conflict and natural disasters. In FY 2017 alone, the United States provided more than $8 billion in life-saving humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, healthcare, education, sanitation, and much more to tens of millions crisis-affected people worldwide. As global displacement has reached record levels, we depend on the dedication of humanitarian workers around the world to deliver assistance.

We applaud the bravery and commitment displayed every day by humanitarian aid workers, even though they face unpredictable and sometimes dangerous challenges to carry out their work. Nearly 200 aid workers worldwide have been killed, injured, or kidnapped since the start of 2018. Among them were those killed in the vicious attack on the provincial Refugee Department in Jalalabad Afghanistan on July 31, as well as numerous aid workers killed or kidnapped in targeted attacks in South Sudan, Somalia, Syria and many other countries.

On this World Humanitarian Day, the United States remains committed to saving lives and we recognize the tremendous service of all humanitarian heroes, including the many brave aid workers and partners on the ground who work tirelessly every day to help people in need.