Beyonce&Marley-UN World Humanitarian Day

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Beyonce&Marley-UN World Humanitarian Day

Beyonce and Ziggy Marley are among artists who contributed their music on World Humanitarian Day to celebrate those who care and those who do:

The United Nations paid homage to humanitarian workers around the world today (19 August) with ceremonies of remembrance for the fallen, and praise and songs of tribute for the hundreds of thousands of others who daily brave danger and hardship to bring aid to those less fortunate.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon laid a wreath at UN Headquarters in New York in remembrance of those who fell in the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad, which claimed the lives of 22 UN staff members, including the world body’s top envoy in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and wounded more than 150 people.

The General Assembly proclaimed 19 August as World Humanitarian Day three years ago to commemorate the victims of that attack.

At a General Assembly ceremony the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, spoke of the current humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. She said that “drought, conflict and poverty have combined to create the biggest food crisis in the world”, pointing out that “more than 12 million people need our help” in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

She noted that the situation in Somalia is “particularly grave”, with famine officially declared in five regions and continuing to spread.

Amos said that “the good news” is that more than 1. 3 billion dollars have been raised to help people in that region.

The Secretary-General, in hiss address said that “our eyes and hearts are fixed on the people of the Horn of Africa” where “tens of thousands of people have died” and “millions are struggling to survive.”

He praised the lifesaving work of humanitarians on the ground, but stressed that “we are still not reaching all the people who need our help, and the crisis has still not peaked.”

UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, told the audience that as the UN honours “colleagues who lost their lives in the struggle to save lives”, an urgent call for action is also being issued “on behalf of the peoples of the Horn of Africa” as well as those who have suffered from a recent tsunami and nuclear crisis, war and displacement, massive flooding, and other crises.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “People Helping People,” a message highlighted by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Music videos from artists such as Beyoncé Knowles and Ziggy Marley were released to commemorate the occasion.

At a later press conference on the Horn of Africa crisis, Amos said that “even as we deal with the tragedy hear and now, we must not forget the importance of dealing with the longer term” , adding that donors must be encouraged “to put more money into those resilience activities, because of course it’s much more important that we help communities to manage and sustain looking forward rather than dealing with a crisis of this kind of depth every two years or so.”

Lake pointed out that tens of thousands have died but it can’t be stated with precision exactly how many. He said that this was “indicative of the severity of the problem” and added “too many are dying off camera.”


Language: English

Year of Production: 2011

Length: 3:00 mins

Country: United Nations


  • Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV)


  • Susan Sacirbey (UNTV)