By Samantha Pudelski, Red Cross volunteer
August 19 is World Humanitarian Day, when we recognize those around the world who help people affected by global crises. In 2021, a record 235 million people required humanitarian assistance according to USAID. Life-threatening crises around the world such as hunger, poverty and conflict are intensifying due to forces such as climate change.
Organizations around the world, including the American Red Cross, International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies, provide humanitarian aid to help communities affected by intense storms, hurricanes and devastating wildfires that have increased in frequency, especially in the last few years. They also are working to provide climate-smart disaster risk reduction—helping communities reduce their risks, increase their resilience and prepare for emergencies that may happen in their region.
Annually, on average, natural hazards cause 67,000 deaths, affect 199 million people and drive 126 million individuals into poverty according to the IFRC. Climate change is causing the number of disasters to increase drastically—doubling the average number of disasters in the last 40 years.
You may be asking yourself, how can I help here in Ohio? There are a few things you can do:
- Learn more about the effects of climate change and the work organizations like the Red Cross and IFRC are doing to help those who are impacted by disasters. Share what you learn with family and friends.
- Donate to the Red Cross to help provide aid to victims of disasters and education to communities on how to prepare for future events.
- Volunteer with the Red Cross in your community and/or consider becoming a member of the Disaster Action Team.
Read more about World Humanitarian Day here.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer