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Nairobi, 19 Aug 11

Monitoring settlement reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia © UN-HABITAT

UN-HABITAT Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos on Friday hailed the agency's humanitarian staff and their colleagues working in disaster zones in many countries around the world.

In a statement marking World Humanitarian Day, he said: "Disasters, wars and other crises affect millions every year. Today, here in the Horn of Africa over 12 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian support and this figure is multiplied many times around the globe.

"On August 19, 2011 UN-HABITAT and the rest of the UN System honors the work of thousands of aid workers from every country, and in every affected country, doing their best to meet the needs of people affected by these emergencies. World Humanitarian Day also pays tribute to those who have lost their lives, or been injured while providing support to vulnerable populations in often very dangerous situations.

"I wish to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for the work of those of my staff who are part of this community of aid workers in all countries affected by conflict or disasters, while also recognizing the many thousands of colleagues from other United Nations, Red-Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and non-governmental organizations worldwide.

On behalf of UN-HABITAT, I also reiterate our commitment to continue to work alongside our partners; adding value where we can by bringing our own expertise to assist in the recovery of the villages, towns and cities impacted by these events."

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