World Humanitarian Day is a day devoted to humanitarians worldwide, as well as to intensify public understanding of humanitarian assistance undertakings. The day aims to honor humanitarian workers who have lost their lives or injured themselves in the course of their work and to acknowledge the ongoing work of humanitarian staff around the world.
This day was nominated in memory of the 19 August 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 22 people, including the chief humanitarian in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly formalized the day as World Humanitarian Day.
Many communities and organizations try to intensify the significance of humanitarians by disseminating publicity and information material. Additionally, some try to speak to the press to help blowout these key messages of World Humanitarian Day, while other groups organize public events worldwide that feature humanitarian work.
The work of humanitarians worldwide is made increasingly challenging by shrinking humanitarian space, and challenges in safety and security for staff. This year, the global COVID-19 pandemic has made humanitarian work even more difficult.
Being a humanitarian doesn’t have to mean traveling to a war zone — the point of humanitarian aid is to alleviate people’s suffering and maintain human dignity. World Humanitarian Day reminds us of the increasing need for humanitarian workers who can give selflessly of their time.