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World Humanitarian Day 2020 – August 19

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World-Humanitarian-Day-2020-August-19United Nations(UN) World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is annually observed on 19th August to pay tribute to honour all humanitarian workers and United Nations and associated personnel who dedicated their lives to help the people in extreme circumstances around the world and lost their lives in the cause of duty. The First WHD was observed on 19th August 2009.

The 19th August 2020 marks the 11th World Humanitarian Day.

The 2020 WHD focuses on honouring the frontline health care workers including the doctors, nurses, midwives and volunteers who risk their lives amid COVID-19 pandemic to ensure medical support to all the people.


Every year, the theme of the WHD focuses on bringing together the partners of the humanitarian systems across the globe to advocate for the people affected by the crisis and for the safety and security of the aid workers.


i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/63/139 on 11th December 2008, designating 19th August every year as World Humanitarian Day to increase the public awareness on the humanitarian assistance activities across the world and the importance of international cooperation.

ii.The date 19th August was chosen in memory of the 19th August 2003 bombing in Canal Hotel, Baghdad, Iraq which killed 22 people including Sergio Vieira de Mello, Chief Humanitarian in Iraq.

About Sergio Vieira de Mello:

i.Sergio Vieira de Mello was a humanitarian who worked with the United Nations and other political programs for more than 34 years.

ii.He served as the UN Transitional Administrator in East Timor from December 1999 to May 2002.

iii.He became the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2002.

#RealLifeHeroes Campaign:

i.The #RealLifeHeroes is a global campaign to celebrate the humanitarians who have committed their lives to help the people in need.

ii.The campaign focuses on what motivates the humanitarians to continue to save and protect lives despite conflict and risks of COVID-19.

iii.The campaign presentes the inspiring personal stories of humanitarian who are treating and controlling the spread of COVID-19, providing food to the people in need, providing safe spaces for women and girls in lockdown, delivering babies, fighting locusts and running refugee camps amid the global pandemic.

Strategic Priorities of the Global Humanitarian Response Plan to COVID-19:

  • Contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and decrease morbidity and mortality.
  • Decrease the deterioration of human assets and rights, social cohesion and livelihoods.
  • Protect, assist and advocate for refugees, internally displaced people, migrants and host communities particularly vulnerable to the pandemic.

About United Nations:
Secretary General– António Guterres
Headquarters– New York, United States of America

About UNGA:
President– Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
President Elect– Volkan Bozkir
Headquarters– New York, United States of America