What is World Humanitarian Day?
World Humanitarian Day is a time to recognize those who face danger and peril in order to help others. The UN General Assembly chose the day to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.
19 August, 2013 marks 10 years since that tragic event, which claimed 22 lives. This year, the international community will pause to remember those who died, as well as the dozens of aid workers, who have died in the years since.
But World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of humanitarianism.This year the UN and its humanitarian partners are launching a campaign called The world needs more…
What do you think the world needs more of?
Photo courtesy of un.org.au
“Every year on August 19th we mark World Humanitarian Day in honour in aid workers, who have lost their lives in the line of duty. We commemorate their sacrifice and reaffirm our commitment to the lifesaving work that humanitarians carry out around the world every day, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances, where others cannot or do not want to go. This year our World Humanitarian Day campaign is calling on people to answer a question: ‘What do you think the world needs more of?’”
What is the background of World Humanitarian Day?
In December 2008, the sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly make the decision to designate 19 August as World Humanitarian Day. 19 August is the date on which a brutal terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 killed 22 people. World Humanitarian Day honours those, who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and those, who continue to bring assistance and relief to millions.
The Day also seeks to draw attention to humanitarian needs worldwide and the importance of international cooperation in meeting these needs. Every year, disasters cause immense suffering for millions of people – usually the world's poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable individuals.
Humanitarian aid workers strive to provide life-saving assistance and long term rehabilitation to disaster-affected communities, regardless of where they are in the world and without discrimination based on nationality, social group, religion, sex, race or any other factor.
Humanitarian aid is based on a number of founding principles, including humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. Humanitarian aid workers should be respected, and be able to access those in need in order to provide vital assistance.
A Somali woman hands her severely malnourished child to a medical officer of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Photo courtesy of un.org
What does LIFESAVER think the world needs more of? Clean water access and compassion.
I have largely lifted text from the website below to illustrate what World Humanitarian Day is about - http://www.un.org/en/events/humanitarianday