Last Updated on June 10, 2021 CareOurEarth
Date: Thursday, 19th August 2021; Thirteen Anniversary.
Sponsor: United Nations
Background: Globally, over 130 million people are currently in crisis either through war or natural disasters and need humanitarian aid. Each year, millions of humanitarian aid workers dedicate to provide life-saving assistance to suffering people all over the world. Numerous people work every day to make the world a better place for the less fortunate, the underprivileged and the people living in places of conflicts, starvation and pestilence. Many aid workers, especially those who live in conflict zones or in areas devastated by natural disasters, may put their lives in danger working in humanitarian causes.
Objective: World Humanitarian Day was officially established to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. Its main purpose is to raise awareness of the plight of civilians around the world who have become caught up in conflicts, and also honor and raise support for the humanitarian workers who risk, and sometimes lose, their lives to help others.
Inception: It was first officially held on 19 August 2009
World Humanitarian Day was established in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly as part of GA Resolution A/63/L.49 on the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the United Nations. The date of 19th August was designated as it marks the anniversary of the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, an event occurred on 19 August 2003, in which the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mellothe and 21 fellow humanitarians lost their lives.
Globally, the World Humanitarian Day was honored and celebrated annually in a range of ways from fundraising to lectures and other events all aimed at raising and spreading awareness. Each year, the World Humanitarian Day campaign focuses on a specific theme identified and suggested by the United Nations.
The theme in 2020:
According to the United Nations, the commemorative theme for World Humanitarian Day 2020 is “Providing life-saving support during the pandemic” .
This year, COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest challenge to humanitarian operations around the world. Since January 2020, more than 22 million of people have suffered from the COVID-19 pneumonia, resulting in about 800,000 deaths so far. Unprecedentedly, aid workers are overcoming access hurdles and restrictions placed by Governments around the world to assist people in humanitarian crises. Therefore, the World Humanitarian Day campaign in this year focuses on providing life-saving support to air workers continue to save and protect vulnerable people in need, despite insecurity, lack of access and risks linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Annual themes in previous years:
2019 theme: “Women Humanitarians”
2018 theme: “Not A Target”
2017 theme: “Not A Target”
2016 Theme: “One Humanity”
2015 theme: “Inspire the World’s Humanity”
2014 theme: “Humanitarian Heroes”
2013 theme: “The World Needs More…”
2012 theme: “I Was Here”
2011 theme: “People Helping People”
2010 theme: “We are Humanitarian Workers”
Sérgio Vieira de Mello was born in Brazil. He dedicated a lifetime spanning over three decades in the United Nations, serving in some of the most challenging humanitarian situations in the world to reach the victims of armed conflict, alleviate their suffering and draw public attention to their plight. His death, together with 21 fellow humanitarians on 19 August 2003 in Baghdad, deprived the humanitarian community of a unique humanitarian leader and an outstanding intellectual whose thinking, philosophy and courage inspired all and remains a timeless legacy for coming generations to emulate.