World Humanitarian Day

Updated:4 Aug, 2022

World Humanitarian Day is globally commemorated on 19 August in order to acknowledge and pay a tribute to those humanitarian workers who sacrifice their lives in the course of their selfless work along with the people who are being affected by the world crisis. The day, 19 August was officially designated as World Humanitarian Day in the year 2009.

Why Do We Celebrate World Humanitarian Day?

The world right now is on the verge of its most extreme humanitarian crisis. It is witnessing human suffering or more appropriately termed "Humanitarian Crisis" never seen before in history. Every other day, the media, newspapers, and social platforms are bombarded with facts and figures telling us how the disasters occurring across the world have affected millions of people, people are displaced from their homelands, and innocent children are trapped in violent political conflicts. If numbers are to be believed at least 1 out of 5 displaced women and girls are made victims of sexual violence.

The world should be a place of peace and prosperity. The only thing the entire population urges for is peace and harmony. They want to be with their beloved and give their children a life that they definitely deserve. The part of the population who are subjected to this unwanted violence only wants their families to be in peace, get back to their homelands, and fulfill their basic necessities of food, medical attention, education, shelter, etc. which are ultimately their human rights.

The day is to make people conscious of the fact that there are millions of individuals and families out there in the world who are suffering due to a lack of basic medical attention, food crisis dealing with their daily conflicts to get a livable livelihood. Millions of people are on pushed to take harsh decisions for themselves and their families which are seen as impossible to make. Imagine, how hard it can be for a parent to decide between their own children, which one to give a better life, education, food, and more likely peaceful future.

What is Humanitarian Aid?

Humanitarian aids are the resources and materials provided to people who are in need. The aid is provided for the short term so that they can survive the hazard until the governmental actions and policies come into action to provide long-term aid and supply. These people to whom humanitarian services are provided are mostly homeless, refugees, and victims of natural disasters, wars, and famines.

Objective Behind World Humanitarian Day

The main objective behind celebrating World Humanitarian Day is to pay tribute to and honor those real-life heroes who have been selflessly serving in different fields and providing services to others despite the harsh circumstances they face day to day. 

These humanitarian workers have been serving despite all the odds and challenges for the betterment and protection of other's life.

In 2021, the agenda of the day was focused on the climatic crisis the world has been witnessing. The year recorded severe catastrophic natural activities like storms and heatwaves which bring out health emergencies and impacted the food and agricultural sector along with the health sector on a large scale.

How is World Humanitarian Day Celebrated?

On the global occasion of World Humanitarian Day (9th August), we pay our tribute and honor the humanitarian workers such as aid and health workers, social activists on others who devoted their lives in order to help others despite unfavorable circumstances and challenges.

World Humanitarian Day is observed every year with the objective of bringing partners across the globe together to support the survival, well-being, and nobility of people affected by catastrophes and for the safety and security of aid workers. In 2021, the day drew attention to the urgent human cost of the climate crisis by compelling world leaders to take profound actions for the world's most vulnerable part of the population, those who have contributed least to the global climate emergency yet but are hit hard.

Background of World Humanitarian Day

The day was proposed to be observed worldwide in remembrance of a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq on the 19th of August. In the attack, 22 people died along with Sergio Vieira de Mello (the Chief humanitarian of Iraq). 

Hence, in 2009 the United Nations General Assembly decided to formalize the date 19th August as World Humanitarian Day.

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