UNHCR and TikTok team up to show solidarity with refugees from Ukraine and beyond


#TheWorldNeeds, a UNHCR-initiated global hashtag challenge, calls on creatives, artists and communities to spread a message of global support ensuring safe and legal access to asylum for all.

With the help of Warner Recorded Music, Warner Chappell Music and BMG, Dionne Warwick’s iconic track “What The World Needs Now (Is Love)” is the challenge’s centrepiece and the place where the TikTok community can bring their creativity to life as they show support and solidarity for those forced to flee.

Building on a historic connection, Dionne Warwick was originally part of UNHCR’s World Stars Festival in 1968, donating a track to raise funds for the agency.

“When I supported the World Stars Festival over 50 years ago for UNHCR, there were fewer than 4 million refugees. Now, there are well over 85 million displaced globally,” the singer commented and urged: “There has never been a more important time to stand in solidarity and show support for people around the world who have been forced to flee from their homes.”

Over half a century later, #TheWorldNeeds challenge is a virtual equivalent of World Stars for the 21st century, harnessing the power of artists and creators around the world.

Mary Maker, a refugee and UNHCR high profile supporter, can be seen on TikTok with her own rendition of the song as she urges others to join her.

“I’m so excited to be part of such an amazing challenge!” she declared.

“It gives me great hope to see the TikTok community come together in solidarity for refugees around the world. I fled conflict in South Sudan as a child and through all of the challenges.

“I have faced since, music has always been a companion and comfort. Music truly has the power to bring people together and break down boundaries, and I hope that through all of the creators’ contributions, we are able to achieve just that!”

A dedicated information page is available on TikTok in selected markets where users can learn and discover ways they can support and donate to UNHCR and show their solidarity with refugees in Ukraine and beyond. 

Donations are absolutely critical for UNHCR’s programmes, from emergency response to sustaining support for refugees, in the form of shelter, healthcare and nutrition, income generation, education, legal assistance and protection.

“Across the globe, more people have been forced to flee their homes than ever before,” says UNHCR’s director of external relations Dominique Hyde.

“From Ukraine to Afghanistan, Syria to Mali, Venezuela and South Sudan, the needs of refugees are growing day by day, and so too is the need for public support and solidarity. 

UNHCR needs more partners like TikTok to bring awareness to those who need it most.

#TheWorldNeeds initiative offers a creative way to engage and unite communities to build solidarity for all the people displaced by conflict around the world, whoever they are and wherever they may be.”

To tune into #TheWorldNeeds challenge now with UNHCR and TikTok, show your support and be part of a musical moment of unity and solidarity for refugees everywhere.


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