WHD: Supporters in the Caucasus and Central Asia join the global celebration of people helping people
Weeks of festivities took place in the Caucasus and Central Asia to commemorate World Humanitarian Day (19 August). For the first time, people in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan joined in the global celebration of people helping people. In Azerbaijan, the United Nations Department of Public Information organized visits to orphanages, nursing homes and settlements hosting displaced people to raise awareness about humanitarian work and the needs of people affected by crises.
World Humanitarian Day celebrations in Kazakhstan brought together UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, charity organizations, NGOs and various performers. Representatives from the organizations spoke with the public about their work and encouraged people to volunteer. The Kazakh Department of Emergency Situations and the National Red Crescent Society trained bystanders on first aid, measured blood pressure and even treated a woman on the spot who was bitten by a wasp.
On 22 August, the UN, the Almaty Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Emergency Situations took part in a joint press conference to highlight urgent needs worldwide and Kazakhstan’s humanitarian role in the region. The speakers then went to Almaty Central Park to join spectators at an open-air concert commemorating World Humanitarian Day.
In Uzbekistan, local pop diva Nasiba Abdullaeva encouraged her followers to do something good, capture it on video, or photograph and share it with the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Tashkent. A video message in three languages was produced with the help of music producer Jakhongir. Stories poured in of people helping the elderly, neighbours and even homeless pets.
Social media users in Uzbekistan found one such story especially inspirational: for many years, student Rahima Ibragimova has visited her 86-year-old neighbour who lives alone. Rahima goes by to chat, help with household chores and shop for groceries.
This year’s global World Humanitarian Day campaign reached over 1 billion people through its dedicated website www.whd-iwashere.org. American pop artist Beyoncé donated her song “I Was Here”, which she performed in the UN General Assembly Hall. The day honours those who lost their lives while helping people and those who continue working for the humanitarian cause.