Let’s Join Hands to Win The Human Race Against Climate Change: UN

By Joyce Mukucha
As the rest of the world join hands in celebrating the World Humanitarian Day, the United Nations said it is of paramount importance to highlight the immediate human cost of the climate crisis by pressuring world leaders to take meaningful climate action for the world’s most vulnerable people.
This year’s World Humanitarian Day which is running under the theme “The Human Race” finds a world which continues to be upended by conflicts, disasters, and an unrelenting global pandemic.
In his key message, UN Secretary, General Antonio Guteress said this year’s campaign for World Humanitarian Day focuses on the climate crisis, which threatens the homes, livelihoods and lives of some of the world’s poorest people.
“While conflicts and wars continue to uproot millions of people, disasters, including due to the impact of climate change, are responsible for the majority of new internal displacements.
“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win. In the race against the climate crisis, we can’t leave anyone behind. A global challenge for climate action in solidarity with people who need it the most is crucial,” said Guteress.
He said the 2021 World Humanitarian Day theme alludes to the ticking clock of the climate crisis.
“It is a race whose cataclysmic effects are visible, undeniable and know no bounds, as outlined in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“In Western Europe, recent floods have inundated entire villages. East Asia has witnessed the heaviest downpours in 1,000 years. Meanwhile, excess rainfall and cyclones in East Africa have contributed to the worst locust outbreak in the region in decades.”
Everywhere around the world, he indicated, the worsening climate crisis and its impacts are leaving behind a chorus of destruction of homes, loss of livelihoods and inevitable displacement.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement also applauded workers around the world for their dedication and committed service to those whose very survival are put at stake by these crises and threats.
The High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement was established by the UN Secretary-General in 2019 to identify concrete recommendations on how to better prevent, respond and achieve solutions to the global internal displacement crisis.
The Panel will deliver its report and final recommendations to the UN Secretary-General at the end of September 2021.
“On World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to aid workers everywhere, and commit to doing everything possible to protect them and their vital work. Humanitarian workers are here to help the world’s most vulnerable people when disaster strikes.
“But around the world, aid workers face growing threats. In the past 20 years, shootings, kidnappings, and other attacks on humanitarian organisations have increased tenfold. This year alone, at least 72 humanitarian workers have been killed in conflict zones,” he said.
In 2019, the UN Secretary-General tasked world leaders to examine the global internal displacement crisis and make recommendations to States, the international community and civil society for more effective prevention, response and solutions to that crisis.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as sea levels rise and cyclones, droughts and floods intensify, ever more people are left with no option but to flee their homes in search of safety.
Today, OCHA highlighted, 55 million people are internally displaced across the world.
The World Bank has however projected that, by 2050, over 143 million could become climate migrants in three of the world’s regions alone if no climate action is taken.
According to OCHA, time is already running out for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people – those who have contributed least to the global climate emergency but are hit the hardest with millions of people already losing their homes, their livelihoods and their lives.
OCHA also highlighted that the imperative for accelerated climate actions for prevention, adaptation, mitigation and response is urgent and compelling.
“Political will by governments to act is key. Strengthened investment in early warning systems, inclusion of displacement risks in disaster management action and a boost in climate financing have also rang out strongly and repeatedly in the calls we have heard in our work.
“The climate emergency is wreaking havoc across the world at a scale that the humanitarian community and people at the front lines cannot manage.
“The actions, and indeed inaction, on these issues will determine the future of The Human Race. The window of opportunity is closing as the clock ticks. Action must come now.”
On 19 August 2003, a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Five years later, the General Assembly adopted a resolution designating 19 August as World Humanitarian Day.
Each year, World Humanitarian Day focuses on a theme, bringing together partners from across the humanitarian system to advocate for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by crises, and for the safety and security of aid workers.
In the week of World Humanitarian Day, August 19, to get the world racing against the climate crisis clock, UN will stage a global race challenge like no other.
“The challenge will be hosted on Strava, the world’s leading exercise platform. Whether participants run, roll, ride, walk, swim, kick or hit a ball, each action will count towards helping us carry our message to world leaders when they meet at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November,” OCHA said.

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