Today the world is witnessing human suffering on a scale that has not been seen since the end of the Second World War. More than 130 million people around the globe need humanitarian assistance. It is against this staggering and sobering backdrop that this year’s World Humanitarian Day, on 19th August, is commemorated. The United Nations urges people to unite as ‘one humanity’ with others across the world affected by conflict and disaster, while recognizing the dedication of humanitarian workers.
During the recent El Niño event, Papua New Guinea was one of the worst affected countries where up to 40% of the population were impacted by drought and frosts and were in need of humanitarian assistance.
In response to the impacts brought on by the El Niño, the Government of Papua New Guinea, local authorities, and civil society organizations collectively provided emergency relief to affected communities across the country. Humanitarian agencies worked closely with the National Disaster Center to coordinate various interventions. The UN in Papua New Guinea provided support to humanitarian actors including the Government, local authorities, NGOs and private sector through coordination, technical support as well as resource mobilization. These focused on emergency food relief, nutrition, health, water and sanitation. This mirrored the approach of ‘local as possible; international as necessary’, which was one of the rallying cries from the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit held this year in May in Turkey.
“Our experience has shown that the best results for humanitarian assistance occur when the Government, local authorities, civil society groups, private sector and international communities work closely together. The UN in Papua New Guinea remains sensitive to the needs of El Niño impacted communities and commits to work with local partners to further enhance disaster resilience and preparedness both at the national and community levels,” said Roy Trivedy, the United Nations Resident Coordinator.
The UN in Papua New Guinea, with our partners, takes this opportunity to recognise the dedication, sacrifice and hard work of individuals who have contributed to ending human suffering in their community, and we make a renewed commitment to work more closely together to strengthen our collective response.
For further information, please contact:
Chika Kondoh, Communications Specialist at the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO)
(675) 321 2877