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World Humanitarian Day: West and Central Africa joins the call for global solidarity

On World Humanitarian Day, celebrated under the theme "One humanity", partners in West and Central Africa pay tribute to humanitarian workers and call for global solidarity with the most vulnerable.

Today, the scale of human suffering is greater than at any time since the Second World War. More than 130 million people around the world need humanitarian assistance in order to survive.

"Our region is one of the most affected in the world. About 25 million people in West and Central Africa are affected by crises and need our help," says Allegra Baiocchi, Head of the UN Regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in West and Central Africa. “There is a strong spirit of solidarity in the region, visible in the field through the work of humanitarians on the front line, but also in the way host communities welcome displaced people fleeing insecurity ".

While 2016 saw the end of the Ebola epidemic, West and Central Africa continues to face some of the world’s deadliest crises. The situation around the Lake Chad Basin continues to worsen. Acute vulnerability prevails in the Sahel, and the resurgence of violence in Mali affects the provision of effective assistance. The crises in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo persist. More than ever, the situation of affected communities requires our commitment and collective support.

Hundreds of aid organizations are hard at work in the region, often operating in difficult and dangerous conditions. Since 2000, 427 humanitarian workers have been killed, wounded or kidnapped in West and Central Africa.

"To help the most vulnerable populations, our teams often face considerable risks," says Allegra Baiocchi. "This day is an opportunity to celebrate the commitment of all the teams in the field, and honor those who, working for more humanity, have paid with their lives."

The 2016 edition of World Humanitarian Day builds on the first ever World Humanitarian Summit held last May in Istanbul. Leaders from around the world have pledged to transform the lives of the victims of crises by adopting an Agenda for Humanity.

The theme "One humanity" reminds each and every one of us of our responsibility to become engaged and perform specific actions for those left behind. Anyone can register on the website of the UN campaign "The world you'd rather", which aims to raise funds and receive the support of individuals and celebrities worldwide.

In Dakar, the humanitarian community in Senegal will celebrate with a photo exhibition focusing on children in crises situations. The project "One day I ..." by Vincent Tremeau will be set up at the French Institute until the end of August.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations (UN).