Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
August 19, 2019
Today, on World Humanitarian Day, we recognize the tireless efforts of humanitarian workers, who every day risk their personal safety on behalf of people whose lives are disrupted when crises hit. We applaud the commitment of humanitarian aid workers who persist despite the dangers, and we especially honor those who have given their lives helping to protect the most vulnerable populations worldwide.
The United States has a long and distinguished history of providing humanitarian assistance to people in need due to displacement, armed conflict, and natural disasters. In FY 2018, the United States provided more than $8 billion for food, shelter, healthcare, education, and clean water and sanitation benefitting tens of millions of people across the globe. Additionally, the United States is a leader in promoting the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers, including through strong U.S. support for the UN Department of Safety and Security, which has enabled more than 1,000 high-risk humanitarian operations in active conflict zones. Currently, the United States and its partners are responding to crises around the world, delivering lifesaving assistance to some of the world’s most vulnerable citizens.
To carry out this vital work, the United States depends on courageous humanitarian aid workers who serve on the front lines to alleviate suffering and protect the most vulnerable from harm. As global humanitarian needs continue to increase, the United States will continue to support internationally agreed principles on the protection of humanitarian workers, call on parties to armed conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including those related to the safety and security of humanitarian personnel, and take every action to protect humanitarian organizations and to respect their independence and neutrality.
On this World Humanitarian Day, the United States recognizes the tremendous service of all humanitarian heroes who have devoted themselves to serving others through their unbounded generosity and unflagging resolve.