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World Humanitarian Day – August 19th

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To recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes, World Humanitarian Day with a theme “Inspiring the World’s Humanity” is observed on August 19, 2015.

  • It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as part of a Swedish-sponsored GA Resolution on the Strengthening of the Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the United Nations.
  • It marks the day on which the then Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues were killed in the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad in 2003.

• In today’s volatile world, more than 100 million people need urgent, life-saving humanitarian aid just to survive.
• More than 60 million have been forced from their homes, in the worst displacement since the Second World War.
• World Humanitarian Day does not have a logo because the day does not “belong” to the UN or any other agency or organization.
• World Humanitarian Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
• For the year 2010 and beyond, it is anticipated that World Humanitarian Day will focus on particular humanitarian themes to help increase public awareness.
• In 2014, 10 humanitarian workers lost their lives each month. Violent attacks against humanitarian workers were recorded in 27 countries.
• The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has called for a renewed and reinvigorated commitment to humanitarian action by initiating the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in May 2016 in Istanbul.
• The goal of this summit is to find new ways to tackle humanitarian needs in our fast-changing world. This three-year initiative is being managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).