On 19th August 2018, we celebrate World Humanitarian Day. The purpose of World Humanitarian Day is to raise awareness of the plight of civilians around the world who have become caught up in conflicts, and also honour and raise support for the humanitarian workers who risk, and sometimes lose, their lives to help.
Over 130 million people throughout the world are currently in crisis, either through war or natural disasters and are in need of humanitarian aid.
World Humanitarian Day was established in 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly and was first officially celebrated in 2009. The date of 19th August was chosen as it marks the anniversary of the bombing of the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, an event in which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mellothe and twenty others lost their lives.
Each year a different theme is chosen for World Humanitarian Day, for example, in the past, the themes have included ‘We Are Humanitarian Workers’, ‘One Humanity’ and in 2017 ‘Not A Target’ reaffirming that civilians caught up in war zones should not become targets.
Organisations worldwide honour this day in a range of ways from fundraisers to lectures and other events all aimed at raising awareness.