the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on World Humanitarian Day

On World Humanitarian Day, the United States joins the international community in honoring the courage and commitment of the thousands of dedicated humanitarian workers who risk their lives delivering lifesaving assistance to the more than 28 million people affected by conflict and violence worldwide – the highest number ever recorded.

This year, humanitarian aid workers have worked tirelessly to provide food, medicine, and shelter to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons driven from their homes by violence in Syria.  They have played a critical role in helping families and communities become more resilient to crises, particularly in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, and Yemen.  And they have assisted the more than one hundred thousand innocent civilians who have fled human rights abuses and ethnically motivated violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei state.

The United States stands firmly with those working to advance the humanitarian principles we share.  We honor those who bravely serve in some of the most austere and difficult environments imaginable, and we remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.  We continue to call on all countries to ensure humanitarian aid workers can serve without fear for their safety, and to support their efforts to build a more secure and prosperous world where all people can pursue their aspirations in peace and dignity.