Across the world, there are 108 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, with more people displaced by violence than ever before. These people have had their lives torn apart by war and natural disaster, and many are starving and in dire need of shelters and medical assistance. Most of them are women and children.
Thousands of humanitarian aid workers have responded to the call to action, deployed in the four corners of the world. These people are risking their lives to save others, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity. Their unstoppable determination to change the world for the better and inability to tolerate the suffering of others is more than praiseworthy.
Aid workers often are posted in front line conditions that are difficult to manoeuvre and incredibly dangerous, but they work tireless days to get food, water, and medical assistance and other resources to those in need.
They are the heroes of our time.
We are celebrating "Humanitarian Heroes" today for this year's World Humanitarian Day. The cost of serving humanity is often heavy, and over the last decade hundreds of these heroes have lost their lives in serving their fellow human beings.
We often hear of disasters in risk-prone zones with vulnerable communities but as we saw with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and Hurricane Katrina in the US, disaster can hit anywhere and can affect anyone at any time.
We never know when or where the next natural disaster or man-made crisis will hit, but no matter where in the world, there will be people in need of help, and people ready to help in turn. It is crucial that we all support and appreciate our humanitarian heroes. One day any one of us may need their help too.